First three countries in Latin America and the Caribbean submit marine sampling data to the SDG 14 monitoring portal

Experts in SCUBA gear collect samples from a 230-year-old coral core to enable a historical reconstruction of pH and temperature trends. (Photo: L. Aragon Lopez/CEAC-CUBA) 

Marine environment experts in Colombia, Cuba and Mexico have begun submitting marine sampling data to the United Nations’ SDG 14.3.1 Data Portal, a monitoring tool developed by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission for the sharing of ocean acidification data. The Data Portal, created in 2020, acts as a focal point for experts to submit, validate, store and share data related to ocean acidity, both for the purposes of SDG reporting and to establish a historic baseline and persisting trends in marine pH levels.

“Cuba, Colombia and Mexico are the three first countries in the region to have submitted reporting on this particular indicator, SDG 14.3.1,” said Carlos Alonso Hernandez, Acting Section Head at the IAEA Environment Laboratories. “Given the importance of overcoming the challenges posed by ocean acidification, their data represents an encouraging milestone towards increasing understanding of the historical trend in pH in the region through the use of nuclear and isotopic techniques, and the impact of climate change on the oceans acidification.”

The data was gathered from the Regional Observatory on Ocean Acidification, established with the support of the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme in 2020 by 18 Latin America and Caribbean countries. The Observatory is part of REMARCO, the Marine Coastal Stressors Research Network for Latin America and the Caribbean, and consists of 55 permanent coastal stations which measure marine acidity and study carbon absorption in regional waters.

Omar Yusuf, IAEA, 25 May 2022. Full article.

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