GOOS webinar: Integrated and interdisciplinary observations of the ecological impacts of ocean acidification

Time: Thursday, September 13, 2018 17: 00 UCT

Presenter: Rusty Brainard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Description: Ocean acidification is predicted to significantly impact coral reefs and the associated ecosystem services they provide to human societies. To inform, validate, and improve experiments and predictive modelling efforts, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) SubCommission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP), and many countries of the western and central Pacific Ocean have established an integrated, interdisciplinary observing network to assess spatial patterns and monitor long-term trends of the ecological impacts of ocean acidification on coral reef ecosystems.

Using standardized approaches and methods, these collaborative efforts are beginning to systematically monitor: seawater carbonate chemistry using water sampling and moored instruments, benthic community structure and abundance using visual and photographic biological surveys, indices of cryptobiota diversity using autonomous reef monitoring structures, net accretion and calcification rates using calcification accretion units and coral cores, bioerosion rates using bioerosion monitoring units and coral cores, and community-based carbonate budgets using photomosaic imagery. NOAA has established baseline observations and initiated long-term monitoring at 23 sites in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Remote Islands.

As part of four IOC-WESTPAC supported workshops, a regional ocean acidification observing network for the Western Pacific has been initiated at 21 pilot sites in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. With support from the New Zealand government, SPREP, and The Ocean Foundation, efforts have been initiated build capacity and identify multiple pilot ocean acidification monitoring sites in the Small Island Developing States of the Pacific Islands adopting similar approaches. Collectively, these standardized observations will provide comparable observations to inform resource managers and policymakers in their efforts to implement effective management and adaptation strategies and serve as a model for the Global Ocean Acidification – Observing Network.

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