Archive for the 'Resources' Category

Protecting our oceans, our future: what can EU do? (text & video)


Dr Susan Gardner, Director, Ecosystems Division, UN Environment Programme; Humberto Delgado Rosa, Director, Natural Capital, DG Environment, European Commission; Karlijn Steinbusch, Program Manager People & Nature, Adessium


Stefan Sipka, Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre

There is growing recognition of the need to address the climate and ecological crises, but the role of oceans is often forgotten. Unsustainable aqua-culture, overfishing, climate change, ocean acidification, plastic waste, marine engineering and oil drilling, are having a devastating impact on marine life, and, consequently, threaten human well-being. Over-fishing, in particular, is weakening the ability of oceans to act as a natural carbon sink, thus undermining climate action.

The year 2021 has seen new efforts to raise the ambition for protecting oceans and marine ecosystems. The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 sets out a protection target of at least 30% of the sea in the EU waters. Likewise, the 30% target for protecting oceans worldwide by 2030 is being discussed in the framework of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow also brought increased awareness about the potential role of oceans in contributing to climate mitigation.

This Policy Dialogue explored the role of oceans in the climate and ecological crises, as well as the state of play and prospects for protecting oceans and marine ecosystems in the EU and beyond, including the role of the EU.

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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.


Diana Ruiz-Pino:
Alban Lazar:

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Book launch – the research handbook on ocean acidification law and policy (video)

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SWINGS Cruise report MD229- N/O Marion-Dufresne- Jan 11th -March 8th 2021

Introduction and objectives

SWINGS is a multidisciplinary 4-year project dedicated to elucidate trace element sources, transformations and sinks along a section crossing key areas of the Southern Ocean (SO). Major French contribution to the international GEOTRACES program (, SWINGS involves ca 80 scientists (21 international laboratories, 7 countries2). As core action of SWINGS, the SWINGS cruise (R/V
Marion-Dufresne, MD229, Geotraces section GS02) started from La Reunion on January 11th 2021 and ended at La Reunion 57 days later (March 8th, 2021). This cruise explored a large part of the South Indian Ocean (Figure 0-2) in order to tackle the following objectives:

1) establish the relative importance of sedimentary, atmospheric and hydrothermal sources of TEIs in the Indian sector of the SO
2) investigate the drivers of the internal trace element cycles: biogenic uptake, remineralization, particle fate, and export, and
3) quantify TEI transport by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and the numerous fronts at the confluence between Indian and Atlantic Oceans.

Cruise Strategy

SWINGS strategy relies on the strong coupling between physical oceanography, biogeochemistry and modeling. During the cruise, a major and original focus has been put on the characterization of the physical, biological and chemical particle speciation in suspended and sinking particles that have been collected during SWINGS.

We realized a high spatial resolution sampling of the dissolved (<0.45 μm) and particulate (>0.45 μm) pools, from the surface to the seafloor. This harvest of data will allow a major step forward in the understanding and quantification of dissolved-particle exchanges, a major recognized bolt for the element cycle modeling. Moreover, samples to analyze dedicated tracers (e.g Th and Pa isotopes) were collected in order to better characterize the particle dynamics. Ra isotope analyses will support the quantification of land-ocean transfers while Nd ones will trace the origin of the dissolved and particulate matter. Both tracers will also help identifying and characterizing hydrothermal source occurrences. Indeed, specific attention was paid to the ocean interfaces: atmospheric and land contacts, and a segment of the South West Indian Ridge suspected to be the home of active hydrothermal sites were explored. Combined with the other suite of trace metals, we will be able to provide an estimation of the lateral and vertical transport of key trace metals from the different sources investigated along the section. We also collected samples in order to describe the taxonomic diversity of heterotrophic microbes, their metabolic potential, gene- and protein expression patterns as well as samples necessary for the enumeration of heterotrophic prokaryotes and small (up to 20 µm) autotrophic phytoplankton, 2 SWINGS PARTNERS: CNRS_UPS_LEGOS (PI, TOULOUSE), CNRS_UBO_LEMAR (PI, BREST), AMU_MIO (MARSEILLE), CNRS_UVSQ_LSCE (SACLAY), CNRS_SU_LOCEAN (PARIS), CNRS_SU_LOMIC (BANYULS), CNRS_UPS_GET (TOULOUSE), CNRS_SU_AD2M (ROSCOFF), CNRS_CECI (TOULOUSE), CSIR-SOCCO (CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA), SU-DEAS, ULB_BRUXELLES (BELGIUM), WU-SO (WASHINGTON UNIV, USA), WHOI-MBC (WOODS HOLE, USA), FU-DEOAS (FLORIDA STATE UNIV AND FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY, USA), GEOMAR (KIEL, GERMANY), PEO AND ETH (ZURICH, CH) 10 the concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and major inorganic nutrients (nitrate and nitrite, phosphate and silicic acid). Finally, dedicated biology experiments, such as nitrification, calcification or iron uptake experiments were conducted throughout the cruise.

The cruise track –at the Atlantic-Indian boundary- did cross up to 6 currents or fronts, among which the 3 majors are reported in Figure 0-2. These jets are major pathways of the general circulation, critical for chemical specie transport: our navigation strategy was regularly adapted using the SOS (Scheduler for Oceanographic Samplings), an interactive navigation tool for adaptive cruise scheduling in order to characterize these current dynamic (geostrophic calculation) as well as their trace element and isotope contents.

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NOAA Pacific Islands ocean acidification master’s student fellowship informational webinar (text & video)

Learn about the aims of the NOAA Pacific Islands Ocean Acidification Master’s Student Fellowship, along with the requirements for and process to submit a letter of intent and full proposal for this opportunity.

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The pH scale and the chemistry of ocean acidification

Ocean acidification provides a useful and engaging context to explore your learners’ understanding of the pH scale

This resource explores the concept of changing pH linked to ocean acidification and can be used as a worksheet to aid understanding during the lesson or as homework. Extension questions provide more challenge and delve into other aspects of chemistry linked to ocean acidification. They lead to a research task where learners can present what they have learnt to explain some of the consequences of ocean acidification on marine organisms.

Sustainability in chemistry

The Sustainable Development Goals logo

This resource accompanies the Education in Chemistry article Tie ocean acidification into your chemistry topics where you will find more support and suggestions for how to connect your current chemistry teaching with UN sustainable development goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. Use the goal to add further context to this resource.

Teacher notes

The download includes answers to all of the questions in the worksheet. 

Question 4 gives learners an opportunity to apply their knowledge and practise a longer-answer question. A structure strip to support this question is provided. Structure strips give scaffolded prompts and help overcome ‘fear of the blank page’. Learners stick the strip into the margin of their exercise book, or a sheet of A4 paper, and write alongside it. Read more in Improve students’ understanding through writing.

A student sheet and teacher notes available as PDFs or MS Word docs. Download All

The extension questions provide further challenge for learners within the topic. Question 7c asks learners to consider equilibrium and they may need a prompt to think about Le Chatelier’s principle if attempting this question.

Question 9 asks learners to undertake further research and present their findings as a poster or infographic, you could suggest alternative formats for this. You could also give learners more of a scaffold with prompts, eg:

  • Choose a sea creature that will be affected by ocean acidification.
  • State why that creature is affected.
  • Identify what might happen to other creatures, either who eat this organism or who are eaten by it.
  • Use the information on carbonic acid in this worksheet to help you include the chemistry behind your points.

The references below contain a wealth of information, in an accessible form for learners and you may wish to give these, either as a starting point or for sole use in this piece of work.

Link carbon-neutral alternatives to your lessons on ocean acidification and enhance your teaching in this topic area with the articles in this series on Goals 7 (sustainable energy) and 8 (biofuels).

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Expert panel: exploring law & policy strategies & frameworks to address climate related ocean change (text & video)

Organised by: One Ocean Hub, The Ocean Foundation & the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification. This event is part of the Climate Law and Governance day of events.

The event will bring marine and climate experts, together to discuss the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on the marine environment and ecosystem services, potential mitigation and adaptation measures. The aim of the event is to identify synergies between the law of the sea and the climate change regimes that could maximise the effectiveness of potential responses to ongoing and significant changes in the marine ecosystems (and their services to humans) from the local to the global levels as a result from climate change.

Ocean warming and acidification has been already affecting marine productivity (including fisheries), carbon sink processes, distribution of species, and ocean currents patterns. Some of these changes (or the combination of those) could lead to irreversible tipping points in marine systems and the planet more broadly. Hence, the need for a more integrated approach in interpreting and negotiating decisions under relevant global frameworks regarding oceans, climate and biodiversity.

Chairs: Mr Mark J. Spalding (President, The Ocean Foundation) & Dr Francesco Sindico (Reader in International Environmental Law, Strathclyde Univ Law School)

Speakers & Discussants: Dr Daniela Diz (Heriot Watt Univ); Prof Murray Roberts (Edinburgh UVic); Adv Kate McKenzie (Strathclyde Univ); Adv Mitchell Lennan (Strathclyde Univ); Dr Kirsty McQuaid (Plymouth Univ); TBC (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chile); Ms Alexis Valauri-Orton (Ocean Foundation); Dr Libby Jewett (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration); Dr Renée Martin-Nagle (Treasurer, International Water Resources Association IWRA, President & CEO, A Ripple Effect).

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Climate change: scientists warn of dangers from ocean acidification (text & video)

Scientists have warned that life on earth may become impossible unless countries stop the toxic chemical pollution of oceans. According to the Global Oceanic Environmental Survey, the world risks losing the marine ecosystem and biodiversity in the next twenty-five years along with the food supply for two billion people due to ocean acidification. CGTN’s Daniel Arap Moi with more.

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Understanding ocean acidification past, present and future (text & video)

In this instalment of #SmallNationBigIdeas, we here from Dr Sindia Sosdian about how her research is helping to predict the impact of CO2-driven ocean acidification based on historical indicators.

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IAEA brief: nuclear and isotopic techniques help assess ocean acidification and climate change impacts

  • The factors that determine climate are complex. Oceans store about one quarter of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted through human activities, and play an important role in limiting impacts of climate change.
  • Increasing carbon emissions and rising temperatures are disrupting oceanic processes, with potentially major consequences for marine ecosystems, the global climate, shoreline protection and coastal industries such as fisheries and tourism.
  • In order to understand and anticipate potential changes in the climate, it is important to understand the processes involved in the global carbon cycle.
  • Increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere cause global warming leading to ocean temperature increase, but also ocean acidification, sometimes referred to as ‘the other CO2 problem’ alongside climate change.
  • The IAEA supports Member States in using radioisotopes to understand the ocean carbon cycle and the ways ocean acidification can affect the marine environment and critical ecosystem services.


The global carbon cycle describes the fluxes of carbon between different environmental compartments (atmosphere, ocean, terrestrial biosphere and sediments). This carbon may be for example in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane (CH4), both prominent greenhouse gases. It is essential to quantify these changes and stocks of carbon accurately in order to construct the climate models used to predict the impacts of climate change.

At least one quarter of the CO2 released into the atmosphere by anthropogenic activities such as the burning of fossil fuels is taken up by the ocean. Some of this CO2 returns to the atmosphere, and some is exported from surface waters to the deep ocean, where the reservoir of carbon is 50 times larger than that stored in the atmosphere. The ocean provides a vital service to nature through this capacity to regulate atmospheric CO2 emissions.


The absorption of CO2 by the ocean is not without consequences for marine life. It causes ocean acidification: a change in oceanic carbonate chemistry sometimes referred to as the ‘other CO2 problem’. Ocean acidification has emerged as a key global issue in the last decade because of its potential to affect marine organisms and biogeochemical cycles.

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Inclusive ocean acidification action – science to society (video)

15:00 – Inclusive Ocean Acidification Action – Science to Society

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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.


Jessie Turner:

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Contribution of nuclear science and technology to climate change adaptation: part 2 (video)

Nuclear Science Helps to Adapt to Climate Change: COP26 | IAEA

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Ocean acidification and the Changing Seas (video & text)

In this video, made for World Oceans Day 2020, Christina explains ocean acidification, its relationship with climate change and its effects on marine environments.

Dr Christina Roggatz is a Chemical Ecologist based at the Energy & Environment Institute at the University of Hull, where she specialises in ocean acidification.

Christina has worked closely with The Deep, Hull on an exhibit called Changing Seas and explains the science supporting that exhibit.

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State of global climate in 2021 – WMO provisioanl report

State of Climate in 2021

Geneva, 31 October 2021 (WMO) – Record atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and associated accumulated heat have propelled the planet into uncharted territory, with far-reaching repercussions for current and future generations, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The past seven years are on track to be the seven warmest on record, according to the provisional WMO State of the Global Climate 2021 report, based on data for the first nine months of 2021. A temporary cooling “La Niña” event early in the year means that 2021 is expected to be “only” the fifth to seventh warmest year on record. But this does not negate or reverse the long-term trend of rising temperatures.The report combines input from multiple United Nations agencies, national meteorological and hydrological services and scientific experts. It highlights impacts on food security and population displacement, harming crucial ecosystems and undermining progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. It was released at a press conference on the opening day of COP26.

Global sea level rise accelerated since 2013 to a new high n 2021, with continued ocean warming and ocean acidification.

The report combines input from multiple United Nations agencies, national meteorological and hydrological services and scientific experts. It highlights impacts on food security and population displacement, harming crucial ecosystems and undermining progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The provisional WMO State of the Global Climate 2021 report draws from the latest scientific evidence to show how our planet is changing before our eyes. From the ocean depths to mountain tops, from melting glaciers to relentless extreme weather events, ecosystems and communities around the globe are being devastated. COP26 must be a turning point for people and planet,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

“Scientists are clear on the facts.  Now leaders need to be just as clear in their actions. The door is open; the solutions are there. COP26 must be a turning point. We must act now – with ambition and solidarity – to safeguard our future and save humanity,” said Mr Guterres in a video statement.

The provisional State of the Climate 2021 report is released at the start of the UN Climate Change negotiations, COP26, in Glasgow. It provides a snapshot of climate indicators such as greenhouse gas concentrations, temperatures, extreme weather, sea level, ocean warming and ocean acidification, glacier retreat and ice melt, as well as socio-economic impacts.

It is one of the flagship scientific reports which will inform negotiations and which will be showcased at the Science pavilion hosted by WMO, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the UK Met Office. During COP26, WMO will launch the Water and Climate Coalition to coordinate water and climate action, and the Systematic Observations Financing Facility to improve weather and climate observations and forecasts which are vital to climate change adaptation.

Key messages


Around 90% of the accumulated heat in the Earth system is stored in the ocean, which is measured through Ocean Heat Content.

The upper 2000m depth of the ocean continued to warm in 2019 reaching a new record high. A preliminary analysis based on seven global data sets suggests that 2020 exceeded that record. All data sets agree that ocean warming rates show a particularly strong increase in the past two decades and it is expected that the ocean will continue to warm in the future.

Much of the ocean experienced at least one ‘strong’ Marine Heatwave at some point in 2021 – with the exception of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean (due to La Niña) and much of the Southern Ocean. The Laptev and Beaufort Sea in the Arctic experienced “severe” and “extreme” marine heatwaves from January to April 2021.

The ocean absorbs around 23% of the annual emissions of anthropogenic CO2 to the atmosphere and so is becoming more acidic. Open ocean surface pH has declined globally over the last 40 years and is now the lowest it has been for at least 26,000 years. Current rates of pH change are unprecedented since at least that time. As the pH of the ocean decreases, its capacity to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere also declines.

1960-2020 ensemble mean time series
1960-2020 ensemble mean time series and ensemble standard deviation of global ocean heat content anomalies relative to the 2005-2017 climatology. Von Schuckmann et al., 2020.

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New report shows ocean acidification (OA) in Puget Sound waters continues as our understanding of patterns grows

New Report Released: Automated buoys and volunteers helped gather critical Puget Sound data during pandemic

On October 27, the Puget Sound Marine Waters Work Group of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program released the tenth annual report on marine water conditions in Puget Sound providing a comprehensive long-term view and current assessment of the Puget Sound marine ecosystem. There were few extreme weather or ecological events in 2020, but overall, conditions in Puget Sound were generally warmer, sunnier, and wetter than in typical years. The report further reveals patterns and trends in numerous environmental parameters, including plankton, water quality, climate, and marine life. The observations in this report collectively provide both a comprehensive long-term view and current assessment of the Puget Sound marine ecosystem.

Calm water on a cloudy day with some blue in the sky with an empty ferry terminal and a ferry in the distance
New Puget Sound Marine Waters 2020 Report Released:  Automated buoys and volunteers helped gather critical Puget Sound data during pandemic. Photo Credit: Puget Sound Partnership 2021

In Puget Sound, ocean acidification (OA) continues as does our understanding of patterns. Annual average atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) values over Hood Canal were high relative to globally averaged marine surface air, yet were at the same level as in 2019. OA in Puget Sound is of particular concern as estuarine processes, both natural and human-mediated, can also increase the CO2 content and lower the pH of marine waters. Moreover, coastal upwelling brings deeper waters with naturally higher CO2 concentrations upwards and into Puget Sound via the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Thus, Puget Sound is influenced by a variety of drivers that exacerbate the growing OA signal, making our waters particularly sensitive to these conditions. All of these changes have ramifications for marine food webs and are areas of active current research, including PMEL’s  Moored Autonomous pCO2 (MAPCO2TM) system collecting on atmospheric and surface seawater xCO2 (mole fraction of CO2) at the Ćháʔba· mooring off of La Push, WA and at the Cape Elizabeth mooring

Having high-quality observations of carbon in the coastal environment is important for understanding coastal ocean carbon and its impact throughout the water column and the ecosystem. Learn more about PMEL’s Carbon and Ocean Acidification Research.

Read the full report here.

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Climate-smart decisions in our changing world

NOAA delivers the science, data, services and solutions that help the world address the climate crisis.

An integral part of the Department of Commerce, NOAA observes and predicts our changing environment from the depths of the oceans to the surface of the sun, shares that knowledge with others, and is responsible for conserving and managing America’s coastal and marine resources, all with a focus on science, service and stewardship.

NOAA’s climate science, services and decision-making tools—everything from greenhouse gas measurements to sea level rise projections—are used in communities in the U.S. and around the world to keep people safe during extreme weather, drive business decisions for industries like agriculture and transportation, and help build infrastructure for the future.

Demand for NOAA’s information is increasing, as the world sees more frequent and more costly extreme weather and climate-related disasters. Investments in NOAA’s climate research, data, tools, and capacity-building are a key part of the United States’ whole-of-government response to the climate crisis.

NOAA is centering equity in all aspects of our work in order to produce better science, deliver better services, be better stewards of the environment and economy, and build a more inclusive workforce.

Learn about NOAA’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis at:

NOAA is committed to helping the world respond to climate change through its mission of delivering climate science, service, and stewardship.

Advancing the state of the science for sea-level rise. Collaborating with several U.S. agencies, NOAA will publish updated sea-level rise and extreme coastal water projections for every U.S. state and territory, filling gaps for rural and underserved regions. This data is key for advancing how we plan for coastal resilience, infrastructure and emergencies.

Enhancing the World Ocean Database. NOAA will develop and deploy a new tool within the World Ocean Database to help ocean data users easily discover and access immense volumes of globally distributed ocean information. Partnering with the International Oceanographic Commission, this investment will increase timely, high quality input for climate forecast models, as well as seasonal and longer time-scale monitoring.

Opening a Pacific Islands ocean acidification training center. NOAA and the U.S. Department of State are partnering with the South Pacific Community, the University of the South Pacific, and The Ocean Foundation to launch a new training center in Fiji to expand capacity for ocean acidification monitoring and research across the Pacific Islands. Understanding how ocean acidification affects local coral reefs and fisheries will enable better protection for the ecosystems, livelihoods, and economies they support.

Launching the NOAA Blue Carbon Inventory. In partnership with the U.S. Department of State, NOAA will provide technical support to countries to incorporate coastal blue carbon into their National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (NGGI). NOAA will focus on 3-5 geographically-diverse countries, amplifying the impact of this investment through regional partnerships, interagency collaboration, and activities such as the development of guidebooks, workshops and training materials. This metric is an important way countries track progress towards achieving their climate ambitions.

Establishing a globally operational Surface Ocean CO2 Reference Network. The network will integrate established and proposed national and regional surface ocean carbon dioxide (CO2) research and monitoring efforts into a global framework, enabling countries to track changes in global ocean uptake of CO2 over time. Through international engagement, NOAA will facilitate the development of the global network and produce high-value products, such as observation-based annual updates of ocean carbon uptake and changes in ocean acidification, that are critical for decision making about ocean-based mitigation options and marine ecosystem health.

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Ocean acidification in Africa

A major food fish in African coastal communities, parrotfish such as these rely on healthy coral reefs that could disappear in an acidifying ocean.

Ocean chemistry is rapidly changing

A healthy ocean provides many human services: food, medicine, cultural practices; income from commercial fisheries and tourism; and, coral reefs for coastal storm protection.

In an acidifying ocean, corals are struggling to maintain skeletons that create reefs. Lobsters, oysters, urchins, and many phyo- and zoo-plankton species that build skeletons also suffer from this stress, disrupting the marine food web.

Coastal communities in Africa are being impacted

Many African countries rely heavily on the sea for economic, social, and nutritional services. However, ocean acidification has the potential to negatively affect those marine ecosystems. The losses would be alarming for the African continent. Fisheries and aquaculture currently contribute USD $24 billion to the economy in Africa, employing more than 12 million people across the continent. The fisheries sector is particularly important for rural coastal African populations, which are among the most vulnerable in terms of both food and job security. Due to the growing population and per capita income, demand for fish in Africa is expected to increase 30% by 2030. Ocean acidification, combined with other climatic drivers, may make it difficult to satisfy this need.

Ocean acidification research demands unique local, national, and regional responses

Addressing and mitigating ocean acidification will require a drastic decrease in global CO2 emissions, but it is possible to develop local adaptive solutions to increase ecosystem resilience by addressing specific societal coastal community priorities. Strategic ocean acidification data are critical for the development and implementation of such solutions, including the identification of ocean acidification hot spots.

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Ocean Acidification Research for Sustainability (OARS) overview and community discussion – ocean lab (text & video)

OA Week 2021, Ocean Acidification Research for Sustainability (OARS) Overview and Community Discussion, a UN Decade Laboratory Satellite Activity

Dr. Jan Newton, University of Washington, USA

Dr. Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK


In the summer of 2021, the UN Decade of Ocean Science formally endorsed GOA-ON’s proposed programme “Ocean Acidification Research for Sustainability”, also known as OARS. This programme aims to provide society with the observational and scientific evidence needed to sustainably identify, monitor, mitigate and adapt to ocean acidification, from local to global scales. The objective of this community discussion today is to receive input from the global ocean acidification community as to what support is required and how GOA-ON can best enhance ocean acidification observation and research capacity, taking into consideration local and regional specificities. We invite you to engage in the discussion to identify strategies and partners, supporting OARS and GOA-ON, to increase capacity in OA monitoring and research efforts within your respective regions, countries, and institutions. We hope to gather insights on which particular aspects of OARS could be expanded or improved upon in order to achieve the UN Decade Action outcomes.

Ocean Acidification Week 2021 was sponsored by the following organizations:

(1) GOA-ON, the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network,

(2) NOAA, the United States National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration,

(3) IAEA OA-ICC, the International Atomic Energy Agency – Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre, and

(4) IOC-UNESCO – the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

For more information, please visit

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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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