Archive for the 'Projects' Category

Ocean acidification in the Siberian Seas: the impact of permafrost thaw and methane release (OASIS)

Ocean acidification by rising atmospheric CO2 is a tipping point of the carbon-climate system that limits future ocean CO2 uptake and threatens ocean fauna. The Siberian Arctic Ocean is a hot spot of acidification. This is driven by additional and likely increasing CO2 production from (1) decomposition of organic matter released from thawing land permafrost and (2) oxidation of methane released from subsea sources.

The OASIS project will assess the impact of both on ocean acidification. Central questions:

  • To what extent does degradation of permafrost-released organic matter contribute to acidification of the Siberian Arctic Ocean?
  • To what extent does methane oxidation accelerate acidification of the Siberian Arctic Ocean but also mitigate methane emissions?

These questions will be targeted with a combination of field and laboratory experiments including a suite of isotopic tools, together with large-scale databases.

Project start: 2022

Funding: This project is funded by Formas, the Swedish research council for sustainable development

Project Members: Birgit Wild, Lewis Sauerland

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Case study: building local and regional resilience through the Pacific partnership on ocean acidification, Pacific islands

Credit: Jana Steingaesser, Ministry of Climate,
Oceans & Resilience (MiCORE)

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“The Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification (PPOA) is empowering Pacific Island communities to face the challenges posed by ocean acidification. PPOA works directly with stakeholders at all levels, from school children to women’s groups, village leaders and policy-makers. By building Pacific capacity to confront ocean acidification, PPOA supports Pacific communities to monitor their own coastal ocean chemistry, develop national policies to address ocean acidification and apply Pacific traditional ecological knowledge to adapt their coastal ecosystems to become more resilient to the threat of ocean acidification.”

Dr Duncan McIntosh, PPOA Project Manager at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme

Summary

The Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification (PPOA) is a four-year collaborative project between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme SPREP, the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Pacific Community (SPC) with the goal of building resilience to ocean acidification in the Pacific Islands. The project’s pilot sites are in Fiji, Kiribati and Tokelau and activities focus on research and monitoring, capacity-building and awareness-raising, policy support and implementing practical adaptation actions. Financial support is provided by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Principality of Monaco.

The issue

Small island developing states (SIDS), such as nations in the Pacific Island region, are highly exposed to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification, given their close proximity to the marine environment and their reliance on marine resources for livelihoods and infrastructure.

In particular, the Pacific Islands are especially vulnerable to the effects of ocean acidification. For example, as the ocean acidifies it becomes more difficult for coral reefs to calcify, resulting in net dissolution. As the coral structure erodes, the reef becomes a less effective force against wave and storm erosion, and it is harder to keep up with sea level rise.

In addition, the tourism infrastructure and fisheries industries in the Pacific Islands rely heavily on healthy coral reefs. Therefore, the impacts of ocean acidification in the region strongly affect community resilience and economic well-being.

The response

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Using alkaline rock minerals to combat climate change

The OceanNETs project explores an approach for carbon dioxide removal in a Norwegian fjord

Deployment of the KOSMOS mesocosms with research vessel ALKOR in the Raunefjord south of Bergen, Norway, for an experiment on ocean alkalinisation. Photo: Michael Sswat, GEOMAR

How can carbon dioxide (CO2) be removed from the atmosphere and stored safely and permanently in the ocean? This question is being investigated by scientists from seven nations led by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel in an experiment just starting in the Raunefjord near Bergen, Norway. In mesocosms, free-floating, experimental enclosures, they are exploring whether the ocean can absorb additional CO2 from the atmosphere through the addition of alkaline minerals – known as ocean alkalinisation – and what influence this has on marine communities. The study will last until mid-July and takes place as part of the Ocean-based Negative Emission Technologies (OceanNETs) project funded by the European Union.

The target is clear: In the Paris Agreement, the global community agreed to limit global warming to well below 2° Celsius and to make efforts to keep it below 1.5° Celsius. This can only be achieved if we drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and take measures to actively remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere again – in other words, create “negative emissions”. To what extent the ocean can support this and what risks and side effects might occur is currently being investigated by an international 43-member research team led by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel in a study south of Bergen, Norway.

For the long-term experiment, the researchers are using mesocosms developed at GEOMAR, which are a type of oversized test tube, 20 metres long and two metres in diameter. In the sealed containers, the pH value of the seawater is raised by the addition of alkaline minerals. This so-called alkalinization not only counteracts ocean acidification, it also enhances the ocean’s potential to take up and store CO2. Regular sampling and measurements document the chemical and biological changes in the mesocosms over a period of about eight weeks.

The investigated approach simulates a natural process: In nature, minerals from rocks and soils are partially responsible for maintaining the alkalinity of seawater. In the experiment, slaked lime – representing calcium-based minerals – and magnesium silicate – representing siliceous minerals – are used for alkalinization, because they dissolve easily in water and are free of impurities often contained in minerals. The experiment aims to clarify how effectively this sequesters additional CO2, which of the two substances produces better results and, most importantly, how ocean alkalinization affects marine life.

“We need to work on ways to actively mitigate climate change. The problem is becoming more and more pressing. Even if we manage to reduce CO2 emissions fast and radically, there will still remain CO2 emission we cannot avoid,” says Professor Dr. Ulf Riebesell, marine biologist at GEOMAR and project leader of the study. “With our research, we want to help develop safe and sustainable solutions which can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In doing so, it is important to ensure that negative impacts on the marine environment are prevented.”

Mesocosm studies are particularly suitable for investigating the effects of changes in seawater chemistry without affecting the marine environment. The sealed structure of the “giant test tubes” allows conditions in the enclosed water to be altered in a controlled manner. Mesocosms contain natural communities and are exposed to real environmental conditions during experiments, so that close-to-natural conditions can be simulated. This is not possible in the laboratory.

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Coastal observatory for climate, CO2 and acidification for the global South society (COCAS)

Sorbonne Université, LOCEAN-IPSL

Change humanity’s relationship with the ocean, Create a digital representation of the Ocean, Develop a sustainable and equitable ocean economy, Expand the Global Ocean Observing System, Indian Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, North Pacific Ocean, Project, Protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity, Skills, knowledge and technology for all, South Atlantic Ocean, South Pacific Ocean, Sustainably feed the global population, Unlock ocean-based solutions to climate change

The COCAS community builds on and uses a science-based decision support system, for sustainable development of the marine Exclusive Economic Zones of the Global South countries.

Its mission is three-fold:

  • First, to implement and sustain coastal ocean long-term observatories assessing ongoing marine environmental changes and their impact on a rich marine biodiversity and multicultural populations;
  • Second, to create a common language and common practices for stakeholders based on data, intelligent information, and technology;
  • Third, to give birth to a new generation of scientists, end-users and decision-makers, working together for the integrated coastal management of tomorrow in the Global South.

Start Date: 01/04/2021

End Date: 31/12/2030

This project is hosted by the programme Ocean Observing Co-Design: evolving ocean observing for a sustainable future.

Contacts

Diana Ruiz-Pino: diana.ruiz-pino@locean.ipsl.fr
Alban Lazar: alban.lazar@locean.ipsl.fr

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Understanding and addressing ocean acidification and changing ocean conditions through the development of OA action plans

Arctic Ocean, Indian Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, North Pacific Ocean, Project, Protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity, South Atlantic Ocean, South Pacific Ocean, Unlock ocean-based solutions to climate change

The International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (OA Alliance) is a voluntary initiative of governments and non-government members representing nearly 300 million people and 366,414 kilometres of coastline.

Members of the OA Alliance include a wide diversity of national, state, municipal, and sovereign Tribal, indigenous, and First Nation governments along with many dedicated affiliate partners like NGOs, seafood industry leaders, and local academia. Through the Alliance, they are exploring and promoting efforts that increase biodiversity, adaptive capacity, and resilience by translating knowledge into policy actions by national, regional and subnational governments.

Start Date: 01/01/2021

End Date: 31/01/2023

This project is hosted by the programme Ocean Acidification Research for Sustainability.

Contact

Jessie Turner: Jessie@OAalliance.org

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AZTI installs a sensor for monitoring ocean acidification in the Basque coastal ocean

The initiative is one of the actions in the LIFE IP Urban Klima 2050 project, which comprises a series of measurement platforms on the Basque coast to track climate change in the sea.

Observing and monitoring the Basque coastal ocean is essential to study the effects of climate change in this area. AZTI has been involved in this since 1986, when it began installing a variety of platforms for monitoring climate change in the sea. 

Its most recent action has been to install a new pH sensor for monitoring ocean acidification off the coast of the Basque Region. The action is part of the LIFE IP Urban Klima 2050 project, and is supported by the Department of the Environment at the Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa and Naturklima.

The sensor is installed at around 3 kilometres from the coast, 50 metres below sea level, and provides regular data on changes in pH in the Bay of Biscay. This makes it possible to make accurate, reliable estimates of ocean acidification levels at the location. This acidification is a direct result of CO2 emissions caused by fossil fuels, which dissolve in the sea, lowering the pH, which affects the growth of marine life such as coralline algae, molluscs, crustaceans, sea snails, coral and some plankton communities.

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Making the ocean an ally in climate protection

The mesocosms are prepared for an experiment of the EU project Ocean-based Negative Emission Technologies (OceanNETs) at Gran Canaria. Photo: Ulf Riebesell, GEOMAR

Mesocosm experiment on Gran Canaria investigates a possible solution for the long-term removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with the help of the ocean.

In a mesocosm experiment just starting on Gran Canaria, scientists from six nations led by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel are investigating to what extent the ocean can help absorb more carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and what impacts this has on marine life. The experiment is taking place as part of the EU project Ocean-based Negative Emission Technologies (OceanNETs). The project, which has been running since July 2020, aims to provide an integrated assessment of targeted measures for CO2 removal in the ocean.

The human-induced increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere continues. With well-known consequences: The climate is changing, extreme weather events are increasing in many places, with sometimes dramatic effects on humans and nature. According to current estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the goal of limiting global warming to as close to 1.5° Celsius as possible decided in the Paris Agreement, can no longer be achieved without active removal of CO2. The Ocean-based Negative Emission Technologies (OceanNETs) project, funded by the European Union and coordinated at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, is investigating to what extent ocean-based approaches could contribute to achieving this goal.

In the long term, most of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released by humans will be recaptured by the weathering of rocks on land and stored in the ocean as dissolved bicarbonate. However, it will take up to ten thousand years for the human CO2 footprint to be largely wiped out again via this process. Too long to play a significant role in addressing climate change in the coming decades. Unless this process could be actively accelerated. Whether this is possible and how the marine communities react to it is currently being investigated by 50 scientists from six nations under the leadership of GEOMAR in a mesocosm experiment on Gran Canaria.

In oversized test tubes, so-called mesocosms, deployed in on-shore waters the researchers are simulating accelerated weathering through the addition of minerals, as they are also introduced into the oceans through natural weathering of rocks. For every kilogram of dissolved rock minerals, this approach can bind about half a kilogram of additional CO2 in the seawater. In the nine mesocosms, different amounts of minerals were added with the corresponding amount of CO2. The concentration gradient set in this way should provide information about possible thresholds for the environmental compatibility of accelerated weathering. In addition to the long-term storage of CO2 in the seawater, the approach known as ocean alkalinisation has the co-benefit of counteracting ocean acidification. The on-going acidification of seawater is a consequence of continued CO2 emissions. About a quarter of the CO2 released annually by humans dissolves in the ocean and reacts with the water to form carbonic acid – with serious consequences for marine life.

“The goal of our experiment is to investigate the potential risks and side effects of ocean alkalinisation on marine communities, but also to capture any positive effects by curbing ocean acidification”, explains Prof. Ulf Riebesell, marine biologist at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and head of the study. “In addition, we hope to gain insights into how effectively and safely ocean alkalinisation could be used as a method of CO2 removal.”

….

Continue reading ‘Making the ocean an ally in climate protection’

Fighting ocean acidification: Smith Cove blue carbon project (text & video)

Oyster beds, kelp, and eel grass in Smith Cove to enhance efforts against ocean acidification. The Port of Seattle is leading many efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG emissions), the most important step towards combatting ocean acidification. The Port has been very active in enhancing shoreline habitat, reducing pollution, and engagement with communities. At Smith Cove in Elliott Bay, the Port of Seattle and its partners are conducting scientific research that will contribute to building resiliency in local ecosystems related to ocean acidification. As part of the Port of Seattle’s commitment to the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (OA Alliance), the Port prepared its first ever Ocean Acidification Action Plan to detail steps we are taking to address ocean acidification. “Last year, the Port of Seattle was the first port in the world to join the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification (OA Alliance), recognizing the many ways in which ocean acidification impacts the maritime sector and acknowledging the important role ports can play in leading environmental action,” said Stephanie Bowman, Port of Seattle Commissioner. “We encourage other ports to join in on these efforts.” The Smith Cove Blue Carbon Pilot Project is located on Port and City-owned aquatic lands near Terminal 91. The goal of the project is to evaluate the potential benefits of marine habitat enhancement of kelp, eelgrass, and oysters on carbon sequestration, water quality (amelioration of seawater acidification), and habitat productivity. The Port of Seattle, along with partners at the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Ecology (Ecology), and the Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF) is monitoring the site over three years for potential benefits in and around the site and includes a community-based science initiative.

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Ocean tribute award 2022

Submit your marine conservation project and be one of the nominees. The winning team will receive prize money of 20,000 euros to advance their project.

The expert jury will judge on effectiveness, participation and networking.

Be there with your project and apply now!

Apply now!

Who can apply?

Our jury is looking forward to initiatives with the following goals:

  • Development of innovative, future-oriented technologies for the protection and preservation of the oceans
  • Promotion and raising awareness of scientific knowledge and development of research capacities
  • Reduction of waste and nutrients for clean seas
  • Sustainable management to protect marine and coastal ecosystems and measures to restore fish stocks
  • High-profile public awareness work, which points to abuses and offers solutions for the sustainable use of our waters
  • Reduction of acidification of the oceans and their effects

When is the application period?

We are looking forward to all applications submitted through our form, open until 31 of August 2021. Simply insert all needed information and take your chance!

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NOAA PMEL Carbon Program

To understand the changing chemistry of the oceans and the impacts of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems. Our observations of key physical, chemical, and biological parameters support NOAA’s overall efforts to predict how marine ecosystems will respond and to develop management strategies for adapting to the consequences of ocean acidification.

NOAA – PMEL Carbom Program. Resource.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage

Mediterranean Sea Acidification (MedSeA) in a changing climate

The MedSeA project addresses ecologic and economic impacts from the combined influences of anthropogenic acidification and warming, while accounting for the unique characteristics of this key region.

MEdSea. Resource.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage

Research notes from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

This website has been developed to serve as a portal for information on active research on ocean acidification within the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington including work with partners at the University of Rhode Island, Jamestown Soklallam Tribe, Puget Sound Restoration Fund, and Northeastern University.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage

School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. Resource.

NOAA Ocean Acidification Program

NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program seeks to better prepare society to respond to changing ocean conditions and resources by expanding understanding of ocean acidification, through interdisciplinary partnerships, nationally and internationally. Ocean acidification is occurring because our ocean is absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, leading to lower pH and greater acidity. This is causing a fundamental change in the chemistry of the ocean from pole to pole.

NOAA OAP. Resource.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage

NOAA Ocean Acidification Program projects

The Ocean Acidification Program supports a wide variety of projects both within NOAA and cooperative and academic institutions. These research projects examine specific themes aimed to determine our nation’s vulnerability to ocean acidification.

NOAA OAP. Resource.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage

PMEL Carbon Program

The PMEL carbon group is working with a number of academic and government partners to conduct large-scale coastal surveys of pCO2 and related water column chemical and hydrographic measurements to determine the spatial scales of CO2 sources and sinks, and causes thereof, along the East, Gulf, and West Coasts of North America.

NOAA. Resource.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage

Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment (FOCE)

FOCE is a technology facilitating studies of the consequences of ocean acidification for marine organisms and communities by enabling the precise control of CO2 enrichment within in situ, partially open, experimental enclosures. Current FOCE systems control experimental CO2 perturbations by real-time monitoring of differences in seawater pH between treatment (i.e. high-CO2) and control (i.e. ambient) seawater within experimental enclosures.

Wikipedia, 3 February 2021. Resource.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage

Ocean Acidification Day of Action

In 2018, The Ocean Foundation launched its Waves of Change campaign to raise awareness of the issue of ocean acidification, culminating with the inaugural Ocean Acidification Day of Action on the 8th January 2019. The 8th of January was chosen as 8.1 is the current pH of the ocean, and our goal is to ensure that the pH of the ocean does not fall below that level. TOF will continue to host Ocean Acidification Day of Action events on the 8th of January each year.

The Ocean Foundation. Resource.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage

Building CapacIty in Ocean AcidificaTion MoniToring in the Gulf of GuineA (BIOTTA)

The BIOTTA project aims to develop an integrated and sustainable OA observing system in the GoG and create a platform to facilitate collaboration among and incorporate the expertise of researchers in the GoG region to identify, understand and design solutions to improve research on OA.

PAGO. Resource.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage

UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme (UKOA)

The £12M, 5 year UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme (UKOA) is the UK’s response and is jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The programme will take advantage of international collaboration opportunities, primarily with the German ocean acidification programme (BIOACID), the European research programme (EPOCA), the Mediterranean programme (MedSeA) and potentially with the emerging US ocean acidification research programme.

UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme (UKOA), 31 December 2016. Resource.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage

Pathfinders Ocean Acidification project

The Pathfinders Ocean Acidification project is a 18 month project, leaded by Dr Jamie Shutler (PML) and funded by the European Space Agency. The objective is to quantify parameters required for Ocean Acidification (OA) research. The work is to develop and validate new and innovative products combining field data, satellite observation, and models.

Pathfinders Ocean Acidification, 9 July 2014. Resource.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage


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