Archive for the 'Program' Category

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.


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


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.


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.


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;, 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’

Response of diatoms to ocean acidification

Marine diatoms are important primary producers that thrive in diverse and dynamic environments. Using the model species Thalassiosira pseudonana, we demonstrated in a detailed physiological and transcriptomic survey that approximately 40 percent of the transcriptome varied significantly and recurrently, reflecting large, reproducible cell-state transitions between four principal states: I) “dawn,” following twelve hours of darkness, II) “dusk,” following twelve hours of light, III) exponential growth and nutrient replete, IV) stationary phase and nutrient depleted. Repeated shifts in the transcript levels of hundreds of genes encoding sensory, signaling, and regulatory functions accompanied the four cell-state transitions, provided a preliminary map of the highly coordinated gene regulatory program under varying conditions. These results explain, in comprehensive detail, how the diatom gene regulatory program operates under varying environmental conditions (Ashworth et al. 2013).

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Development and strengthening of the regional research and monitoring network, as part of global efforts, on the ecological impacts of ocean acidification on coral reef ecosystems in the Western Pacific and its adjacent regions in support of the SDG 14.3

The ocean has absorbed about one third of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions since the industrial revolution, greatly reducing the impact of this greenhouse gas on the climate. However, this massive input of CO2 is generating global changes in the chemistry of seawater, especially on the carbonate system. These changes are collectively referred to as ocean acidification because increased CO2 lowers seawater pH (i.e., increases its acidity).

Recent studies have shown that the resulting decrease in ocean pH will make it more difficult for marine calcifying organisms, such as corals, molluscs, and calcareous plankton, to form biogenic calcium carbonate, and existing calcium carbonate structures will become vulnerable to dissolution. Thus, ongoing acidification of the oceans poses a threat to ocean-based security. There are concerns that marine ecosystems will change, that biodiversity will be lost, and that important ecosystem services that human societies depend upon for food security, livelihoods, and coastal protection could be significantly impacted. Unfortunately, the effects of ocean acidification on organisms and ecosystems remain poorly understood, with most of our knowledge based on simplified laboratory experiments.

Continue reading ‘Development and strengthening of the regional research and monitoring network, as part of global efforts, on the ecological impacts of ocean acidification on coral reef ecosystems in the Western Pacific and its adjacent regions in support of the SDG 14.3’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book