The Circle: Ocean acidification threatening our oceans

Readers of The Circle are accustomed to editorials that frame the issue we’re examining in each edition, along with information about WWF solutions and initiatives.

We pride ourselves on being a solutions-oriented organization. However, ocean acidification is too new and the research too incomplete for us to fully understand how to tackle this growing threat to our oceans.

We are working with organizations such as the Catlin Arctic Survey, which you can read about in this edition that spent weeks on the sea ice to conduct research into the effects of ocean acidification. Another article features the team of Dr. Ulf Riebesell, which lugged two tonnes of equipment to Svalbard, then posted 24-hour watches over their experiments aimed at analyzing the impact of acidification on plankton communities.

This sort of cutting edge research will help inform further actions, although it already seems clear that there will be changes to the ecology of the Arctic Ocean, and that the root cause of these changes is the amount of carbon dioxide that people are pumping into the atmosphere.

This is our first concerted effort to tackle ocean acidification at a circumpolar level, and to bring together some of the experts urging and taking action. As Alanna Mitchell writes, “we need to make ocean acidification visible”.

The WWF Global Arctic Programme believes that by increasing its visibility here through The Circle, that we are contributing to a solution.

WWF, The Circle, 14 December 2010. Article.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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