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Protecting our estuaries: new bill calls for a closer look at environmental stressors in estuarine environments

Healthy estuaries support the vitality and livelihoods of coastal communities. We gather with friends at estuaries to go fishing, kayak and spend quality time with each other. But we don’t always show estuaries as much love as they show us.

In college, I spent my days staring into my microscope at what can only be described as other-worldly – tiny stars, sunburst shaped disks and alien-like critters. I was examining plankton collected from a nearby estuary—these microscopic larvae would grow up to be crabs and oysters, which spend the beginning of their lifecycle in estuaries, the nurseries of the ocean. Estuaries provide essential habitat for marine life, including over 75% of commercially caught fish in the United States, and support recreational fisheries too.

Beginning my science career at The Evergreen State College, I was fascinated by the natural world. After graduating, I wanted to figure out how to use my science to help communities impacted by environmental challenges. This led me to apply to the Roger Arliner Young Marine Conservation Diversity Fellowship on the ocean acidification team at Ocean Conservancy. The position gave me the opportunity to learn exactly how science can help inform public policy. One of my cornerstone projects for the fellowship has been examining the impact of ocean acidification in estuaries, and how ocean acidification interacts with other environmental stressors and processes

Located near densely populated areas, estuaries are influenced by both human and environmental stressors. Impacts like nitrogen run-off can often lead to harmful algal blooms (HABs), which are dangerous for people and fish. Also, ocean acidification has been measured in the open ocean, but it’s much harder to detect in estuaries and coastal zones because of converging processes like pollution, erosion and upwelling. If scientists can’t precisely measure how water chemistry is changing in these ecosystems, the effects are difficult to prepare for. Adding even more complexity, estuaries themselves are constantly changing as freshwater meets saltwater, tides rise and fall and species change seasonally. We simply don’t know yet how all of these factors influence each other in estuarine environments.

Continue reading ‘Protecting our estuaries: new bill calls for a closer look at environmental stressors in estuarine environments’

ESSAS Annual Science Meeting, Yokohama, Japan, 7-9 March 2016

There are several sessions relevant to ocean acidification at the ESSAS Annual Science Meeting, Yokohama, Japan.

Dates: 7-9 March 2016

Yokohama World porters, Hall B, at Sakuragi-cho, Yokohama

Theme of meeting: “Scientific Challenges in a Changing Arctic & Subarctic”

The decline of biodiversity (the biomass, composition, and distribution of species) on Earth reflects the fact that the ability of Earth to sustain biodiversity in a dynamic environment has been seriously compromised by environmental stressors such as climate change and ocean acidification. Furthermore, the reduction of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, which has progressed more rapidly than previously predicted, could exacerbate several environmental stresses, including ocean warming, acidification, and stratification. This meeting will focus on the observed and projected changes in the climate and marine environment of the Arctic and Subarctic and in the biological responses to these changes: How did the ancient climate and environment of the Arctic and its marginal subarctic regions change over time? How are the climate and environment of the subarctic and Arctic regions changing during the current Anthropocene? How do marine organisms in subarctic and polar regions respond to multiple environmental stressors? Active discussions will be encouraged to enhance our understanding of observed and anticipated changes and to explore how the natural sciences, humanities and socio-economic sciences can address and adapt to these challenges.

Continue reading ‘ESSAS Annual Science Meeting, Yokohama, Japan, 7-9 March 2016’

2nd Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World, Monaco, 6-8 October 2008

The Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) are convening the second symposium on The Ocean in a High-CO2 World on 6-8 October 2008 in Monaco. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an interdisciplinary forum to assess what is known about ocean acidification and priorities for future research. The symposium will include both invited and contributed presentations. The meeting organizers seek contributions on relevant topics, including the following:

– Scenarios of ocean acidification
– Effects of changes in seawater chemistry on nutrient and metal speciation
– Ocean carbon system from deep-time to the present to the distant future
– Paleo-chemistry
– Mechanisms of calcification
– Impacts on benthic and pelagic calcifiers
– Physiological effects: From microbes to fish
– Adaptation and (micro)evolution
– Fisheries, food webs, and ecosystem impacts
– Biogeochemical consequences and feedbacks to the Earth system
– Economic consequences
– CO2 disposal

The symposium will include plenary presentations, discussion sessions on research priorities, and a poster session. Because of time limitations, most contributed abstracts will be presented as posters. Manuscripts based on presentations at the symposium can be submitted to a special issue of Biogeosciences and research priorities will be published separately for the benefit of ocean scientists and research program managers worldwide. Relevant dates include:

31 March 2008: Early registration and abstract submissions open
31 May 2008: Abstract deadline
31 July 2008: Early registration closes
31 August 2008: Biogeosciences opens for submissions to special section on “The Ocean in a High CO2 World – II”
6-8 October 2008: The Second Symposium on The Ocean in a High-CO2 World
7 November 2008: Biogeosciences closes for submissions to special section

The Planning Committee is chaired by James Orr of the Marine Environment Laboratories (MEL-IAEA) in Monaco and includes the following members: Ken Caldeira (USA), Victoria Fabry (USA), André Freiwald (Germany), Jean-Pierre Gattuso (France), Peter Haugan (Norway), Patrick Lehodey (France), Silvio Pantoja (Chile), Hans-O. Pörtner (Germany), Ulf Riebesell (Germany), and Tom Trull (Australia).

For additional information, please contact James Orr (J.Orr@iaea.org) or one of the sponsors’ representatives: Ed Urban (Ed.Urban@scor-int.org), Maria Hood (m.hood”at”unesco.org), or Wendy Broadgate (wendy@igbp.kva.se).

Additional instructions for registration and abstract submission will be provided in early 2008, but please put the dates for this meeting on your calendar. A web site will soon be opened at: http://www.ocean-acidification.net/


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OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book