Archive for November, 2012

Integrating climate and ocean change vulnerability into conservation planning

Tropical coastal and marine ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to ocean warming, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise. Yet these projected climate and ocean change impacts are rarely considered in conservation planning due to the lack of guidance on how existing climate and ocean change models, tools, and data can be applied. Here, we address this gap by describing how conservation planning can use available tools and data for assessing the vulnerability of tropical marine ecosystems to key climate threats. Additionally, we identify limitations of existing tools and provide recommendations for future research to improve integration of climate and ocean change information and conservation planning. Such information is critical for developing a conservation response that adequately protects these ecosystems and dependent coastal communities in the face of climate and ocean change.

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International campaign aims to combat ocean acidification

A new international collaboration seeks to save the seas.

Oceans, those vast expanses that cover nearly three-quarters of the planet and hold almost all its water, are in serious trouble. They’re becoming increasingly acidic, putting at risk creatures from small mollusks and gregarious black oystercatchers to hulking walruses. Today nations across the world are joining forces to tackle this devastating problem.

The United States, Italy, France, and Spain are among those involved in the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Center. Member countries are aiming to better understand how species are being affected, and then make recommendations to adapt natural resource management accordingly. “Through this platform, all the actors in the field—scientists, decision makers, policy makers—could get the information they need,” says Michel Warnau, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Radioecology Laboratory. The center helped organize a November workshop on ocean acidification’s impact on fisheries and aquaculture.

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Orcas Island senator eyes a carbon tax to protect NW shellfish

After a jarring report from Gov. Gregoire’s panel on ocean acidification, state Sen. Kevin Ranker takes aim at the Northwest’s biggest culprit: Carbon dioxide emissions.

State Sen. Kevin Ranker is considering an industrial carbon tax to curb carbon dioxide emissions in Washington and to deal with the increasing acidity of the state’s waters.

Continue reading ‘Orcas Island senator eyes a carbon tax to protect NW shellfish’

L’acidification des océans dissout la coquille des escargots de mer (in French)

Dans les eaux de l’Antarctique, l’acidification croissante des océans altère la coquille des ptéropodes, ces escargots de mer qui se déplacent en nageant dans les profondeurs océaniques. Une découverte publiée le 25 novembre 2012 dans la revue Nature Geoscience.

Continue reading ‘L’acidification des océans dissout la coquille des escargots de mer (in French)’

Scientific summary of ocean acidification in Washington state marine waters

Appendix 7 to the Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification report released on Tuesday (see this post) is a scientific summary report.

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Assessment of the ecological vulnerability of the East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery to climate change: a brief synthesis of information and results of an expert workshop

Assessing fisheries vulnerability to climate change is essential to prioritise systems in greatest need of intervention, understand the drivers of vulnerability to identify future research directions and, more importantly, to review current fisheries management with the view to developing management responses that will be effective in securing the future sustainability of marine fisheries (Johnson and Welch 2010).

The report includes a section on ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘Assessment of the ecological vulnerability of the East Coast Otter Trawl Fishery to climate change: a brief synthesis of information and results of an expert workshop’

Science Update: loss and damage – climate change today and under future scenarios

A report prepared by Climate Analytics

IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report noted that climate has changed since pre-industrial times. The changes since the mid-20th century are ‘very likely’ due to human activities, in particular those that lead to greenhouse-gas emissions. Many regions and countries have characteristics that make them vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which include increasing land and ocean temperatures, sea level rise, and the increase in frequency and severity of several extreme weather events. Climate change inflicts loss and damage on these countries’ economies, livelihoods, coastal infrastructure, ecosystems and food and water supplies. Increased loss and damage is projected with further increasing GHG emissions.

The report includes a section on ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘Science Update: loss and damage – climate change today and under future scenarios’

Tackling an ocean menace

The challenge of galvanizing support for cleaning Puget Sound is undercut by the illusion of beauty. Like a tossed sheet, the waves of Port Gardner Bay obscure what lies below. And the corrosive effects of ocean acidification are all but invisible, except for the billions of dying oyster larvae at hatcheries around the Sound.

Researchers determined that the Northwest die-off that began in 2005 was triggered by low-pH seawater along the West Coast. This ocean acidification, caused largely by fossil fuels and the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, is strafing the state’s marine economy. It’s a complex, colossal mess, unseen unless you own an oyster farm or have a thing for pH testing paper.

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Oceans fail the acid test as carbon emissions rise

It is the little mentioned flip side of global warming – the acidification of the world’s oceans. Now new research shows that, as predicted, it is harming sea life.

Even if climate change were not taking place, the process provides compelling cause for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, for they are powering what scientists believe to be the most profound change in the chemistry of the oceans in millions of years. And its effects cannot be reversed in less than tens of millennia.

Continue reading ‘Oceans fail the acid test as carbon emissions rise’

Acidifying water takes toll on Northwest shellfish (text, audio and video)

SEATTLE — Rescuing shellfish from the rising acidity in Puget Sound will require a wide-ranging response:

Everything from curbing greenhouse gases and controlling water pollution to growing more seaweed and putting restaurant-discarded oyster shells into shallow bays.

Those are among the recommendations in a long-awaited report on ocean acidification that was delivered today to Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire by a blue-ribbon panel.

Continue reading ‘Acidifying water takes toll on Northwest shellfish (text, audio and video)’


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