University of Victoria to lead study on greenhouse gas impact on oceans

Researchers led by the University of Victoria have been granted $540,000 to study how quickly oceans absorb carbon dioxide produced by human activity — and what the implications could be for the planet’s future.

While the three oceans bordering Canada absorb a massive amount of carbon dioxide, not enough is known about how quickly the process happens or what long-term implications are for ocean acidification and marine life, according to a release.

The project is led by Roberta Hamme, the Canadian Research Chair in ocean carbon dynamics. It will bring together government, researchers and students to figure out how to better model how rising rates of carbon dioxide will affect the oceans around Canada.

A report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says current rates of ocean acidification caused by carbon dioxide are “unprecedented” in modern history and is likely to have serious environmental, human and economic impact.

“Warming temperatures, and declining pH and carbonate ion concentrations, represent risks to the productivity of fisheries and aquaculture, and the security of regional livelihoods given the direct and indirect effects of these variables on physiological processes,” reads the report.

Funding for the project is from a $4.7 million partnership of Environment Canada, Energy Canada, Health Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council announced by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna last week.

Zak Vescera, Vancouver Sun, 15 July 2019. Article.

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