The Environmental and economic impacts of ocean acidification (video)

The hearing on “The Environmental and Economic Impacts of Ocean Acidification” by the Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation took place on 22 April 2010. The supporting documents such has written testimonies and statements are now available.

Hearing on “The Environmental and Economic Impacts of Ocean Acidification”, 22 April 2010. Web site and video.

2 Responses to “The Environmental and economic impacts of ocean acidification (video)”


  1. 1 harbinger 26 April 2010 at 09:45

    But the oceans are not acid, and cannot become so. Why, therefore, does EPOCA exist?

    • 2 Jean-Pierre Gattuso 26 April 2010 at 21:52

      Thank you for your comment. I suggest that you read the FAQ produced by OCB and EPOCA.

      Question #1 addresses your comment:
      Ocean acidification refers to the process of lowering the oceans’ pH (that is, increasing the concentration of hydrogen ions) by dissolving additional carbon dioxide in seawater from the atmosphere. The word “acidification” refers to lowering pH from any starting point to any end point on the pH scale. This term is used in many other scientific areas (including medicine and food science) to refer to the addition of an acid to a solution, regardless of the solution’s pH value. For example, even though seawater’s pH is greater than 7.0 (and therefore considered “basic” in terms of the pH scale), increasing atmospheric CO2 levels are still raising the ocean’s acidity and lowering its pH. In comparison, this language is similar to the words we use when we talk about temperature. If the air temperature moves from -40°C to -29°C (-40°F to -20°F), it is still cold, but we call it “warming.”

      James Orr, Senior Scientist, Laboratory for the Sciences of Climate and Environment, France
      Christopher L. Sabine, Supervisory Oceanographer, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, USA
      Robert Key, Research Oceanographer, Princeton University, USA


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