UK ocean acidification programme

The Natural Environment Research Council and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs are developing a collaborative 5 year research programme of approximately £12m. The drivers and rationale for the programme are detailed in the NERC Earth System Science Theme Action Plan.

The research programme will focus on the North-East Atlantic (including European shelf and slope), Antarctic and Arctic Oceans and aim to deliver the following seven main science outputs:

1. Improve estimates of ocean CO2 uptake and associated acidification.
2. Evaluate the impact of acidification on ocean biogeochemical processes.
3. Identify and improve understanding of the potential impacts and implications of acidification on key ecosystems, communities, habitats, and species, focussing on the continental shelf and slope.
4. Improve the understanding of the potential population, community and ecosystem impacts and implications for commercially important species.
5. Provide evidence from the paleo-record of past changes in ocean acidity and resultant changes in marine species composition and Earth System function.
6. Identify and understand the indirect impacts of decreasing pH on atmospheric chemistry and the climate system.
7. Improve the understanding of the cumulative or synergistic effects of Ocean Acidification on ecosystem structure and function with other global change pressures.

A call for proposals is expected to be announced in April – May 2009, when further details will be provided. The deadline for proposal submission would be about 8 weeks after the call. It is anticipated that funded proposals would start in late 2009, early 2010.

Source: NERC web site

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