Marine ecosystems and ocean acidification in a changing climate – session at the annual meeting of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society

Biogeosciences – Session BG06: Marine ecosystems and ocean acidification in a changing climate

Convener: Dr. Thiyagarajan Vengatesen (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR) rajan@hku.hk

The dissolving 1/3 of anthropogenic CO2 has started decreasing seawater pH, carbonate ions, and thus the saturation state of calcium carbonate minerals through “ocean acidification (OA)” process. Simultaneously, seawater is getting hotter (due to global warming), and there is a global increase in mean precipitation (due to climate change), leading to low-salinity. As the carbonate saturation state decreases with OA and low-salinity, organisms living in coastal and marine ecosystems may lose their ability to produce highly ordered and incredibly strengthened shells. Without armor, they are more susceptible to predation and infection. OA also lead to lowered immune response, metabolic depression, behavioural alterations and making organisms more susceptible to disease and causing a loss of biodiversity. According to recent Nature, Science, PLoS and PNAS papers, these multiple stressors are expected to rise further by the end of this century which will eventually force marine ecosystems to face devastating impacts. Multidisciplinary team approach is urgently required to evaluate these impacts and to understand the mechanisms behind these impacts. Now is the time to review our current knowledge on mechanisms and processes that marine organisms might use to face these multiple-stressors. Our aims of this session are to bring ecologists, engineers and molecular biologists to establish collaborations and to find ways to use ecology, material science and “omics” tools in OA research. Besides, we will also aim to identify important research gaps in OA research field that can only be addressed by cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Annual Meeting of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society, 24-28 June 2013, Brisbane. Web page.


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