Archive for the 'Newsletters and reports' Category

Monitoring ocean change in the 21st century

Time series data sets, which contain measurements repeated over a span of decades, yield important insights into our oceans’ vital signs.

Ocean temperature and chemistry changes strongly influence the well-being of organisms and the composition of marine food webs. Since the preindustrial era, the oceans have absorbed at least one fourth of the carbon dioxide (CO2) that humans have put into the atmosphere, resulting in an increase in ocean acidity. The amount of oxygen dissolved in ocean water has changed as well, driven by warming and changes in circulation patterns. These effects are further compounded in coastal regions, where marine ecosystems face additional human pressures such as pollution, land use changes, and overfishing.

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Future of the sea: ocean acidification

This report summarises evidence of the changes to and drivers of ocean acidification. It explores the current and future impacts of acidification on:

  • marine life and environmental conservation
  • the UK fisheries and aquaculture industries
  • future research needs

It was commissioned as part of the Foresight Future of the sea project.

Continue reading ‘Future of the sea: ocean acidification’

Increase resilience to climate change and ocean acidification

Provide training opportunities to Tokelauans to increase their understanding of the impacts of climate change, the predicted range of changes that will occur, including uncertainties associated with climate outlooks and climate change scenarios, and management strategies that address the impacts of climate change on marine and coastal ecosystems.

Results Areas: Livelihoods of people, Ocean (Marine) and Coastal Ecosystems, Climate Change, Ocean Acidification, Capacity Building.

Agenda 2030: #3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, #4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, #5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, #6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, #8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, #11 Make human settlements inclusive, safe. Resilient and sustainable, #9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure, #13 Climate Change, #14 Conserve and sustainably use the Oceans, #17 Partnerships.

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Long-term monitoring of O2 and pH in Alaska waters; a sentinel for global climate change and ocean acidification

Background and Objectives: The effects of global climate change and ocean acidification are expected to be more extreme at higher latitudes, such as in Alaska. Deep- coral and some sponge communities are especially susceptible to ocean acidification through reductions in calcification rates due to reduction in the available carbonate ions. Thus it is important to determine the rates of ocean acidification through monitoring pH and to determine shoaling and expansion of O2 minimum zones in order to predict and understand the effects of climate change on deep coral and sponge ecosystems.

Approach: The AFSC RACE Division annually conducts stock assessment surveys in Alaska ecosystems aboard chartered fishing vessels. These platforms provide an opportunity for low cost monitoring by instrumenting the bottom trawl survey nets to collect additional environmental data. We purchased two Aanderra oceanographic units that have sensors that collect depth, temperature, salinity, turbidity, pH and O2.

Significant Results to Date: Beginning in 2012, protocols for data collection were developed and the oceanographic equipment was deployed on bottom trawls in the eastern Bering Sea slope survey. Environmental variables were collected during 168 trawl hauls from Bering slope to the US-Russian border. In 2013, the environmental data was collected on 218 trawl hauls in the Gulf of Alaska and in 2014 data was collected on 300 trawl hauls in the Aleutian Islands.

Continue reading ‘Long-term monitoring of O2 and pH in Alaska waters; a sentinel for global climate change and ocean acidification’

New edition of the “OA-ICC Highlights”, April – June 2017

The new edition of the “OA-ICC Highlights” summarizes the project’s main activities and achievements over the period April – June 2017. The information is structured around the OA-ICC three major areas of work: science, capacity building and communication. Links to the project’s main resources and an explanatory video on their use are also provided.

The “OA-ICC Highlights” is a quarterly newsletter and all previous editions can be viewed here.

Understanding the effects of ocean acidification on predator-prey interactions

Marine organisms are experiencing dramatic environmental changes due to global climate change. As atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations rise, the oceans absorb increasing amounts of carbon dioxide, which results in acidification. While ocean acidification affects several different types of organisms, calcifiers — those that make their shells or skeletons from calcium carbonate like shellfish or corals — have been identified as particularly vulnerable. Acidification not only increases the likelihood of shell or skeleton dissolution, it can also make it more difficult for organisms to create calcium carbonate in the first place. Several studies have investigated the effects of ocean acidification on calcifiers in isolation; however, in nature, organisms interact with a wide variety of other organisms, from predators to prey to competitors. These interactions have the potential to amplify or reduce the effects of acidification with consequences that could propagate up to population and community levels. I am particularly interested in how interactions between predators and prey are influenced by changing ocean chemistry.

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Release of Version 5 of the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas – celebrating 10 years of SOCAT!

On behalf of the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT) scientific community, we are proud to announce the release of SOCAT Version 5! SOCAT is a synthesis activity by the international marine carbon research community (>100 contributors). SOCAT version 5 has 21.5 million quality-controlled, surface ocean fCO2 (fugacity of carbon dioxide) observations from 1957 to January 2017 for the global oceans and coastal seas. Calibrated sensor data are also available. Automation allows annual, public releases of SOCAT. The SOCAT data is discoverable, accessible and citable. SOCAT enables quantification of the ocean carbon sink and ocean acidification and evaluation of ocean biogeochemical models. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017, SOCAT represents a milestone in biogeochemical and climate research, and in informing policy.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book