The science behind ocean acidification: Helen Findlay on her work in the Arctic sea ice (Interview)

In the last week there have been some very sobering reports on the extremely degraded conditions of our oceans. The general gist is that it is much worse than previously thought, which is worrying since we already thought the situation of depleted fish stocks, plastic pollution and ocean acidification was pretty bad. Ocean acidification has been described here as a ‘twin evil’ with Global Warming and Mike reported recently that it affects fishes’ sense of smell, poor Nemo. So who is at the front line of this science? Climate scientist Helen Findlay specialises in the subject and we talked to her recently about the important work she does on the Catlin Arctic Survey.

TreeHugger: Can you tell us about the area of science you work in?
Helen Findlay: My research focuses on how microscopic animals and plants affect the amount of carbon in the seawater and what that means for carbon dioxide exchange with the atmosphere and processes like ocean acidification. There is still so much to find out about the marine environment – there are a lot of dots we need to connect up to understand how marine systems work.

TH: How did you get involved in this area of work?
HF: I think I was 11 when I first decided I wanted to be a marine biologist. I grew up by the sea and it fascinated me. A lot of people told me that I would never make it. I suppose that’s a part of what motivated me. I studied Biology at university and then did my Masters degree in Oceanography.

Leonora Oppenheim, treehugger, 22 June 2011. Full interview.

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