The Paul G. Allen Ocean Challenge: mitigating acidification impacts

Submission deadline: 31 July 2013

The problem Over the last 150 years, atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased from 290 ppm to 395 ppm, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels. Ocean acidification is occurring because the world’s oceans, as a primary sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide, are absorbing increasing amounts of CO2, resulting in a lower pH. Ocean acidification, together with changes in ocean temperature, salinity, and stratification, is altering the fundamental chemical balance of ocean and coastal waters, impacting the global ocean ecosystem, and potentially threatening marine food supplies.

The challenge The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, as part of a larger ocean health initiative, and in collaboration with The Oceanography Society, is offering a $10,000 prize for the most promising new science-based concept for mitigating environmental and/or societal impacts of ocean acidification.

In addition to the prize, the authors of highly ranked proposals will receive invitations to submit full concept proposals to the Paul Allen Family Foundation for funding consideration. Since 1990, the PAFF has awarded over $400 million to organizations around the world in support of science and technology, education, arts and culture, and community development. Within Science and Technology, significant multi-year awards have supported research in areas of fisheries, environmental conservation and ecology, and medicine and health. A broad array of concepts are sought addressing anything from a better understanding of the variations in impact, vulnerability, and/or adaptations of different parts of the marine ecosystem to actual mitigation strategies to lessen the environmental or societal impacts. Concepts may focus on natural processes and/or human activities that benefit society, be global, regional, or local in scope, and may address a single species/activity or whole ecosystems/industries. While submissions must be firmly rooted in science and should include elements of new basic research, concepts should have a high probability of leading to future demonstrations of a new capability. Preference will be given to interdisciplinary efforts that seek to apply concepts across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Submissions may come from anyone, regardless of nationality or institutional affiliation and may represent individuals or teams. Submissions will be made available for community comment and evaluated by a panel of international experts. Highly rated submissions will be presented in a dedicated session at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting, in Honolulu, Hawaii, February 23-27, 2014. The winner will be selected and announced at the meeting.

Challenge web site:

Contact: info(at)

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