Uniting on ocean acidification: a radical new approach to monitoring OA impacts at global scale

Around one quarter of the CO2 emitted from human activities annually is absorbed by the ocean. This has been shown to affect the chemistry of the seawater, causing a drop in pH which has major implications for many marine species and ecosystems.

Despite the threat that ocean acidification (OA) poses, there is currently no global framework for monitoring its biological impacts, and this is hampering efforts to fully assess the rate and scale of the issue. As such, a team of ocean acidification experts, including scientists from Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), have created a new methodology designed to ensure best practice in future OA monitoring and improve globally-coordinated efforts to understand and mitigate its effects.

Drawing on a wealth of data from previous experiments and observations, the publication “Unifying biological field observations to detect and compare ocean acidification impacts across marine species and ecosystems: What to monitor and why” proposes five broad classes of biological indicators that, when coupled with environmental observations including carbonate chemistry, would create a far more advanced understanding of the rate and severity of the biological changes taking place due to ocean acidification globally.

Plymouth Marine Laboratory, 3 February 2023. Full article.

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