Archive for the 'Media coverage' Category

Climate change may be dissolving the ocean floor. Here’s why we should be worried.

Image: Aerial view of waves

It doesn’t just dissolve the seafloor: an acidifying ocean can also spell trouble for coral, shellfish, and other marine life. Photo Credit: Maurizio Siani / Getty Images

From heat waves to severe storms and wildfires, the effects of climate change are visible all around us — and new research suggests that the impact of a warming world extends all the way to the bottom of the ocean.

A study published Oct. 29 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that high levels of carbon dioxide — the heat-trapping greenhouse gas that is a key contributor to Earth’s warming climate — have made parts of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Southern Ocean so acidic that the chalky white mineral that makes up the seafloor is dissolving.

Continue reading ‘Climate change may be dissolving the ocean floor. Here’s why we should be worried.’

Deadline extension: The Ocean Foundation’s interdisciplinary symposium and advanced training for Latin America and the Caribbean

The deadline to register for the Latin American and Caribbean ocean acidification symposium and training course has been extended to 30 November 2018.

Latin American and Caribbean Regional Symposium on Ocean Acidification – 21 to 24th of January, 2019: The objective of the symposium is for attendees to leave with an understanding of what implications ocean acidification has on their work and what tools are available to integrate ocean acidification monitoring, mitigation, and resilience into their work.

Click here to learn more about the Symposium and register.
Download the Symposium flyer

Continue reading ‘Deadline extension: The Ocean Foundation’s interdisciplinary symposium and advanced training for Latin America and the Caribbean’

Increasing ocean acidity threatens Mass. shellfish industry (text and video)

Oysters, scallops, and clams are some of the popular local delicacies. They’re also big business up and down the Atlantic coastline. But these species of shellfish are facing a potential threat that can’t even be seen: It’s a phenomenon known as ocean acidification.

Increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels is one of the causes, said Matt Charette, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. The ocean absorbs the carbon dioxide, changing the chemistry of seawater.

By one estimate, ocean acidity has increased 30 percent from the colonial era. This level is dangerous for shellfish that make up the bulk of the local aquaculture industry.

“Certain organisms like oysters and clams that rely on calcium for their shells are unable to thrive in an environment that is too acidic,” said Hauke Kite-Powell, a research specialist at WHOI. “They’re unable to build their shells and maintain their shells.”

Continue reading ‘Increasing ocean acidity threatens Mass. shellfish industry (text and video)’

ONU – Rapport de l’Agence Internationale de l’Energie Atomique Monaco réaffirme sa confiance et souligne les actions des laboratoires de l’environnement de l’AIEA dans le domaine de l’acidification des océans (in French)

Saluant la réélection de Yukiya Amano à la tête de l’Agence Internationale de l’Energie Atomique (AIEA), S.E. Mme Isabelle Picco, Ambassadeur, Représentant permanent de la Principauté de Monaco auprès des Nations Unies, a saisi l’occasion de l’examen du rapport de l’Agence par l’Assemblée Générale des Nations Unies, le 9 novembre, pour mettre en valeur sa contribution positive au quotidien, par l’utilisation de l’énergie atomique à des fins pacifiques, et l’application de techniques nucléaires au service de la recherche scientifique et de la préservation du climat. S.E. Mme Isabelle Picco a rappelé que la Principauté accueille depuis 1961 les Laboratoires de l’environnement de l’AIEA, lesquels sont installés depuis 20 ans sur le Port Hercule, et où a également été établi, en 2012, le Centre international de coordination sur l’acidification des océans. Ces entités contribuent, en collaboration avec le Centre scientifique de Monaco, à évaluer les impacts socio-économiques de l’acidification des océans, notamment par des ateliers internationaux réunissant des experts et scientifiques mondiaux.

Continue reading ‘ONU – Rapport de l’Agence Internationale de l’Energie Atomique Monaco réaffirme sa confiance et souligne les actions des laboratoires de l’environnement de l’AIEA dans le domaine de l’acidification des océans (in French)’

Sustainable Development Goal Indicator 14.3.1 upgraded to Tier II

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target Indicator 14.3.1 was upgraded from Tier III to Tier II by the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDG) of the United Nations Statistical Commission following a presentation by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the custodian agency for the Indicator. Tier II classification means that the “Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.” The SDG Indicator 14.3.1 calls for “average marine acidity (pH) measured at an agreed suite of representative sampling stations”. The Indicator Methodology, which provides guidance to scientists and countries about how to carry out measurements and how to report them, was developed with the support of experts in the ocean acidification community, including members of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON).

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OA-ICC and GOA-ON organize advanced data analysis and management workshop in Monaco

oa-icc 22 oct 2018.jpg

Workshop participants at the IAEA Environment Laboratories, Monaco (Photo: Tanmay Misra, IAEA)

The IAEA Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) and the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) held a technical meeting on the management, analysis, and quality control of ocean acidification data on 22-26 October 2018 at the IAEA Environment Laboratories in Monaco. The advanced workshop included participation from 15 scientists representing 15 different countries from various regions around the world. Different data products and resources were presented, such as the GOA-ON data portal, SOCAT, GLODAP and the OA-ICC compilation of biological response data and bibliographic database. The workshop brought together both chemical oceanographers and biologists and took an interdisciplinary approach to discuss ocean acidification data analysis. The workshop emphasized the importance of chemistry for biological experimentation (proper manipulation and reporting, but also development of scenarios and interpretation of data) and biology for chemical monitoring (identification of relevant spatio-temporal scales to inform monitoring strategies etc.). Lectures were given on quality assurance and quality control techniques used in monitoring and experimental research, such as estimating uncertainties, identifying outliers and flagging data. Participants were able to apply these theories to their own data sets that they brought with them to the workshop. Participants also provided feedback on the reporting process for the UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 14.3 Indicator 1, which calls for “average marine acidity measured at an agreed suite of representative sampling stations”.


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California must fight to save its coastal fisheries

Kent Porter / The Press Democrat, 2017

While the Trump administration and greenhouse gas-emitting industries continue to ignore science, California’s coastal fisheries are becoming some of the early victims of global climate change. Our state is not helpless, though, and a new action plan offers hope that we might fight back against one of the most pernicious threats — ocean acidification.

As seawater warms, it absorbs more carbon dioxide and becomes increasingly acidic. That throws the biochemistry of the ocean out of balance, and sea life suffers. Animals might evolve to handle such changes if they occur slowly over thousands or millions of years. When significant changes occur over mere decades, though, species just die.

The creatures most harmed by acidification tend to be at the bottom of the food chain. That means when they start to die off, bigger creatures lose their source of food and also suffer.

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OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book