Integrated assessment of the risks to ocean acidification in the Northern high latitudes (text & video)

OA Week 2021, Arctic Hub Session

Dr. Nina Bednarsek, Southern California Coastal Water Research project (SCCWRP), USA


Exposure to the impact of ocean acidification (OA) is increasing in high-latitudinal productive habitats. Pelagic calcifying snails (pteropods), a significant component of the diet of economically important fish, are found in high abundance in these regions. This presentation will focus on the integrated risk assessment in the Eastern Pacific subpolar gyre, including the Gulf of Alaska (GoA), Bering Sea, and Amundsen Gulf. The risk for pteropod populations was determined by integrating measures of OA exposure, biological sensitivity, and resilience. Exposure was based on physical-chemical hydrographic observations and regional biogeochemical model outputs. Biological sensitivity was based on pteropod morphometrics and shell-building processes, including shell dissolution, density and thickness. Resilience and adaptive capacity were based on species diversity and spatial connectivity, derived from the particle tracking modelling. An integrated risk evaluation based on multiple approaches assumes a high risk for pteropod population persistence with intensification of OA in the high latitude eastern North Pacific. Such comprehensive understanding would permit improved prediction of ecosystem change relevant to effective fisheries resource management, as well as a more robust foundation for monitoring ecosystem health and investigating OA in high-latitudinal habitats.

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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