Within less than a decade, ocean acidification has gone from a science without a label involving few scientists to a research topic studied by many hundreds that is considered the #1 research front in Ecology and Environmental Sciences (King and Pendlebury, 2013)1. As research activities on ocean acidification continue to develop, there is a growing need for international collaboration and coordination.
In recent years, EPOCA2, the first multi-national project on ocean acidification, partly filled this need. This 4-year European project ended in 2012. Recognizing the need to continue and develop international activities, the SOLAS-IMBER joint Working Group on Ocean Acidification (SIOA) and the Ocean Acidification International Reference Users Group (OA-iRUG) called for an international effort to coordinate, promote and facilitate science and related activities.
Responding to this call and to the increasing concern about ocean acidification from many of its Member States and international organizations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stepped in and announced a new project, the “Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC)”, at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012.
The OA-ICC is supported by direct and in-kind contributions from 8 IAEA Member States (Australia, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, UK and USA) via the IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), and cooperates with the major programmes in the field of ocean acidification (e.g., SOLAS and IMBER, IOCCP3, BIOACID4, UKOA5, MedSeA6 and NOAA-OAP7). The OA-ICC is based in Monaco at the IAEA’s Environment Laboratories. It is currently funded for 3 years with goals to foster scientific collaboration at the international level, promote best practices, improve observational capacities and databases, and facilitate communication and outreach.
The OA-ICC is promoting a series of overarching international activities to serve not only the scientific community but also science users, including policy makers, media, and the general public. Recent and on-going OA-ICC activities include (1) helping to run an international exhibition stand that highlighted ocean acidification at the UNFCCC COP18 in Doha, (2) running an exercise to compare seven publicly available packages that compute marine carbonate chemistry, (3) helping support the Second Global Ocean Acidification Observation Network workshop (St. Andrews, 24-26 Jul 2013) and (4) supporting the 6th SOLAS summer school (Xiamen, 26 Aug-2 Sep 2013). Further details about these and other OA-ICC activities are available on the OA- ICC web site.
More information and contact:
MC-98000 Principality of Monaco
Tel: +377 97977206
Fax: +377 97977275
1King C. & Pendlebury D. A., 2013. Research Fronts 2013: 100 top-ranked specialties in the sciences and social sciences. 32 p. Thomson Reuters.
2European Project on Ocean Acidification
3International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project
4Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification
5UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme
6Mediterranean Sea Acidification in a Changing Climate
7US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ocean Acidification Program
Hansson L., 2013. Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre. SOLAS NEWS 15, Summer 2013: 28. Article.