Plenary 1: importance and value of monitoring coastal ocean acidification in New Zealand

OA Week 2021, Plenary Session 1 GOA-ON Goal #1 – Improve our understanding of global OA conditions

Dr. Kim Currie, Marine Chemist, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand


The recent IPCC AR6 report stated that changes to the ocean including ocean acidification are clearly linked to human activity. A decline in pH has been observed in all ocean basins, and ocean acidification is virtually certain. In the New Zealand region of the South Pacific Ocean, as in other regions, the pH is predicted, with high certainty, to continue to decline. The IPCC is able to make these statements with the associated high level of confidence because of the meticulous ocean carbon chemistry measurements made by scientists from many countries over many years. However, establishing such trends with high certainty in coastal locations is more difficult because the scale of variability is high, and the time of emergence of any long -term trend is long. Many countries do not have the resources or expertise needed to start and maintain the long term observations needed to directly quantify any change in the coastal carbon chemistry due to anthropogenic drivers. GOA-ON is directly involved in addressing this, providing resources, protocols and training to enable equitable participation for countries to monitor the OA status of their own coastal environments. New Zealand, like many countries, has begun this process of establishing current day conditions with the aim of documenting the changing OA condition of our coastal waters over the long-term. The New Zealand Ocean Acidification Observing Network (NZOA-ON) collaborates with a variety of stakeholders and local communities to inform management of our coastal ecosystems.

Ocean Acidification Week 2021 was sponsored by the following organizations:

(1) GOA-ON, the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network,

(2) NOAA, the United States National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration,

(3) IAEA OA-ICC, the International Atomic Energy Agency – Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre, and

(4) IOC-UNESCO – the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

For more information, please visit

GOA-ON, YouTube, 24 September 2021. Text and video.

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