Archive for the 'Program' Category

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’

All aboard the carbon cruise

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf of Mexico to study ocean acidification.

An interdisciplinary and international team of scientists and students set sail aboard the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) ship Ronald H. Brown on Tuesday, July 18 for a 36-day expedition in the Gulf of Mexico.

The researchers – including graduate student Joletta Silva and two recent alumni, Emma Pontes and Leah Chomiak, from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science – represent institutions from the United States, Mexico and Cuba.

The expedition, entitled the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems and Carbon Cruise (GOMECC), is the third of such research cruises led by NOAA AOML (Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory) for its Ocean Acidification Program to better understand how ocean chemistry along U.S. coasts is changing in response to ocean acidification. This cruise is the first that will explore Mexican waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and is considered to be the most comprehensive ocean acidification cruise to date in the region.

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Ocean acidification: Pacific conversations with SPREP

In June this year, the Pacific islands are amplifying their voice at the United Nations Ocean Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York, focusing on Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life Below Water.

This Pacific Conversation discusses ocean acidification and its impacts on Pacific species, providing you with more information to help make a difference in our region.

Did you know that a lower pH, the potential of hydrogen, makes the ocean a louder place? By 2050, under conservative projections of ocean acidification, sounds could travel as much as 70% farther in some ocean areas. This means ocean acidification affects whales and other animals, not just coral reefs and shellfish.

The ocean absorbs about 25% of the CO2 that we emit. If we had to pay for it, the value of this ‘ocean service’ to the global economy is USD 60 to 400 billion annually (EPOCA).

By taking up our extra CO2, the ocean has acidified by 30% since the start of the Industrial Revolution. The current rate of decrease is 0.02 units per decade, faster than any rate in the past 300 million years. Projections show that by 2060, seawater acidity could have increased by 120%.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification: Pacific conversations with SPREP’

Building international capacity to monitor, understand, and act on ocean acidification

The Ocean Foundation commits to building international capacity to address ocean acidification through four types of actions: monitoring, analyzing, engaging and acting.

Monitor:

Observing how, where, and how quickly is change occurring
Ocean acidification is causing rapid changes in chemistry, and these changes are not consistent across the globe. The first step to fighting ocean acidification is to monitor our waters so that we can better understand how, where, and how quickly the change is occurring. We have tools to monitor both the chemistry such as the change in pH and the biology like the change in algae distribution. Right now, entire regions of the ocean have limited or no capacity for such monitoring. The Ocean Foundation will work to increase monitoring capacity by providing training workshops for early career scientists, deploying tailored kits that enable monitoring efforts, and by supporting the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (the GOA-ON).

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The Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification

Goal:

Pacific Island communities and ecosystems are resilient to the impacts of ocean acidification and a changing ocean, with practical adaption measures and alternate livelihoods in place.

Rationale:

Pacific island communities and ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of ocean acidification and ocean warming. The Partnership builds on the outcomes of the International Workshop on Ocean Acidification: State-of-the-Science Considerations for Small Island Developing States that was co-hosted by New Zealand and the United States, in partnership with SPREP, as an official side-event at the 3rd UN SIDS Conference in 2014. The Partnership builds on the New Zealand Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification project, which is a collaborative effort between SPREP, SPC, USP and the Pacific island countries and territories, with support from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Principality of Monaco. Efforts are currently underway to scale up these efforts, and the Partnership will be a key part of new actions.

Objectives:

The Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification will focus on:

1. Research and Monitoring During the Pacific Regional UN Oceans preparatory meeting, national participants highlighted the need for information and research to inform policies and decision making in their high-level statement that was endorsed by senior officials and leaders. Monitoring and research must be linked to policy and management and lead to meaningful action on the ground.

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Science to Save the Reefs: An interdisciplinary dialogue between economist and biologist to propose practical solutions against Ocean Acidification and other global stress

Ocean acidification (OA), often called “the other CO2 problem”, is a consequence of an increased release of anthropogenic carbon dioxide. Man-made CO2 does not only accumulate in the atmosphere, it also dissolves readily in seawater thereby releasing protons with, as a consequence, an increase in seawater acidity. The acidity of the oceans has increased by about 30% since the beginning of the industrial era, and may increase by more than 150% by the end of the century. This increase in acidity impacts the lives and well-being of many marine organisms and can also disrupt coastal and marine ecosystems and the services they provide. Among threatened ecosystems, coral reefs are probably the most sensitive to both climate change and ocean acidification.

The Centre Scientifique de Monaco is particularly involved in the scientific study of the impact of this environmental change on marine organisms, and more particularly on coral reefs since the 90s, developing studies from the molecular mechanism of action of OA to socio-economic impacts on coastal human societies. Scientific research at the CSM is associated within the Association Mongasque pour lAcidification des Ocans (AMAO), which includes media and funding activities carried out in the Principality of Monaco to communicate, promote and facilitate international actions on ocean acidification and other global stress factors affecting the marine environment fully supported by HSH Prince Albert II.

Continue reading ‘Science to Save the Reefs: An interdisciplinary dialogue between economist and biologist to propose practical solutions against Ocean Acidification and other global stress’

Understanding and addressing the impact of ocean acidification on marine life and coastal livelihoods in California

California is a founding member of the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (Alliance; https://www.oaalliance.org/), which is a network of governments and affiliate (NGOs, universities, businesses, and associations) members responding to the threats of ocean acidification and changing ocean conditions.

The Alliance was initially announced at the Our Ocean conference in September 2016 and formally announced by Governor Brown and other founding members in December in San Diego at the Western Governors Association. Now, with nearly 40 members, the Alliance will grow its coalition to 60+ governments and affiliate members by June 2018 who are committed to taking actions to combat ocean acidification, both within their region and globally. Alliance members will take meaningful actions within their jurisdiction, as allowed by their existing capacity, to develop Ocean Acidification Action Plans. The Action Plans will assist in the implementation of UN SDG 14.3 by advancing the five goals identified in the Alliances Call to Action:

Continue reading ‘Understanding and addressing the impact of ocean acidification on marine life and coastal livelihoods in California’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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