Ocean acidification in the Salish Sea and beyond

Date: Thursday, 7 October 2021

Time: 4:30 pm

Location: On-campus and ONLINE.

The Huxley Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University.


Ocean acidification is sometimes called the evil twin of climate change. It’s driven by the carbon dioxide being added to the atmosphere, which is changing the chemistry of the oceans. These changes can influence how hard it is to make a shell, or how easy it is for plants and algae to grow. Ocean acidification can effect anything from the survival of tiny oysters to the sense of smell in fish. We will start with some basics about how the ocean waters are changing. Then we will look at some of the more common responses among different kinds of organisms, including some that are common in the Salish Sea. We will explore what we do and don’t know about what happens when things get complicated, like when temperature and carbon dioxide are changing at the same time, or in coastal waters that have many other influences. Finally we will take a look as what we know about what the future holds and how people and policy makers are addressing the coming changes.


Brooke Love is an oceanographer who is interested in how ocean acidification is unfolding in our local Washington waters. She is a chemical oceanographer by training, starting at the University of Washington building instruments to measure carbon dioxide in high temperature black smokers on the sea floor. Now at Western Washington University as an Associate Professor, she studies how ocean acidification effects organisms ranging from plankton, to eelgrass to herring. This involves a lot of plumbing, and she is always happy with a box of fittings and some tubing. She’s also dedicated to ocean education, in the classroom, in public talks, and currently as the academic director of the new program in Marine and Coastal Science at WWU.

Western Washington University, 21 September 2021. More information.

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