Towards quantitative ecological risk assessment of elevated carbon dioxide levels in the marine environment

The environmental impact of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels has become of more interest in recent years. This, in relation to globally rising CO2 levels and related considerations of geological CO2 storage as a mitigating measure. In the present study effect data from literature were collected in order to conduct a marine ecological risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels, using a Species Sensitivity Distribution (SSD). It became evident that information currently available from the literature is mostly insufficient for such a quantitative approach. Most studies focus on effects of expected future CO2 levels, testing only one or two elevated concentrations. A full dose-response relationship, a uniform measure of exposure, and standardized test protocols are essential for conducting a proper quantitative risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels. Improvements are proposed to make future tests more valuable and usable for quantitative risk assessment.

de Vries P., Tamis J. E., Foekema E. M., Klok C. & Murk A. J., in press. Towards quantitative ecological risk assessment of elevated carbon dioxide levels in the marine environment. Marine Pollution Bulletin. Article (subscription required).


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