Posts Tagged 'document/pdf'

State of Hawai‘i ocean acidification action plan 2021 -2031

The State of Hawaiʻi Ocean Acidification Action Plan was developed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) with support from the Hawai‘i Department of Health, Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, the State of Hawai‘i Climate Change and Mitigation Commission, the University of Hawai‘i – School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program, the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification, and many other partners and stakeholders.

This Ocean Acidification Action Plan for the State of Hawai‘i is based feedback from state departments, local experts, and partners on local Hawai‘i issues, and from the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification’s “Action Plan Toolkit”, which was developed through the West Coast Consortium, a partnership of the States of Washington, Oregon, California, and the province of British Columbia.

The State of Hawai‘i activities, projects, and programs that have related to ocean acidification are jointly done by a number of departments and partners. This plan outlines existing activities that State Departments and partners are involved in, as well as forecasting future needs for activities projects, and programs from collaborative partnerships. For this reason, there was effort to put a stand alone plan together as well as integrate ocean acidification and climate considerations into other state plans.

DAR held several webinars to share the recent scientific understand of ocean acidification in Hawai‘i and talk about the ways different states have built their Ocean Acidification Action Plans, and some pathways forward the State of Hawai‘i could take. COVID-19 changed the way that we were able to host meetings and workshops, and so DAR hosted meetings with the contributors with a focus on each Goal related to their expertise to develop objectives and actions. DAR brought the 5 overall goals developed to the State Climate Change and Mitigation Commission for approval as part of the plan development process.

This Ocean Acidification Action Plan is the first of an iterative planning document that provides a strategic vision for developing and coordinating action around ocean acidification and the ocean-climate nexus. The State’s actions will include ways to be understand, adapt, and mitigate, communicate, and network to combat the impacts of ocean acidification in Hawai‘i. In future years, more comprehensive progress reports will include updates of actions implemented by this plan, and edits or changes to suggested actions can be made.

It will be important for State Legislature to create a formal working group of State and County that can guide the implementation and updates to this plan.

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Global ocean climate change: observing from ships

Have you stood on the beach or crossed the ocean on a plane, wondered at the enormous size of the ocean, and possibly thought about how it regulates our climate? Or how our climate is changing? Or what harm our extra carbon dioxide and heat are causing to life in the ocean? The oceans take up heat from the atmosphere and sun, they change their saltiness as they are either evaporated or rained on, and they exchange gases with the atmosphere, including some of the extra carbon dioxide that humans add to the atmosphere. Ocean currents and mixing carry heat and carbon for tens to hundreds of years, and as they move heat and carbon around, the currents alter the atmosphere above. We only have this knowledge because we have been observing the ocean from ships for a century, adding satellites, and drifting instruments in the last few decades.

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Ocean acidification (OA) in the Baltic Sea from a Swedish perspective

This report is produced as part of the project “Baltic Sea Acidification Mitigation” (BALSAM), supported by the Swedish Institute. The aim of this report and other, corresponding reports (produced for the other countries participating in BALSAM) is primarily to inform environmental NGOs and other stakeholders interested in environmental issues. The aim of this country report is to provide information on Ocean Acidification (OA) in the Baltic Sea with special emphasis on Swedish waters, and to provide an insight into the research and monitoring that are the basis of the current understanding of OA in these waters. This is done as support for campaigning towards mitigation of greenhouse gases and protection of the seas. Whereas this document is not a comprehensive literature review, it is intended as a timely guide to the concept of OA, and does contain key publications and links to further indepth reading and sources of additional information.

Ocean acidification (OA) comes in the wake of climate change as the result of increased atmospheric CO2, which is taken up by the oceans. About 30 % of the CO2 that is emitted to the atmosphere because of human activity ends up in the waterbodies. Part of the CO2 reacts with water, and forms carbonic acid. Some of the carbonic acid dissociates, resulting in bicarbonate and in hydrogen ions. This process leads to acidification (lower pH, i.e. higher concentration of hydrogen ions). Organisms in the oceans are adapted to the pH-conditions that have prevailed in the seas prior to this human driven acidification-process. Especially calcifying organisms are sensitive to acidification, but the physiology of many other organisms can be affected as well, as can the complex ecological interactions between organisms. In a global setting, ongoing and projected effects of OA have been extensively described in several IPCC reports (e.g. IPCC, 2018, 2019).

In Sweden, an interdisciplinary review on causes and consequences of OA in the Swedish Seas (including both the Baltic Sea and the more saline waters of Skagerrak at the Swedish west coast), as well as knowledge gaps, was published relatively recently as part of work supported by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Havenhand et al. 2017). Additionally, in the same context, a scientific review focusing on the ecological consequences of OA was published by Havenhand et al. in 2019. A policy brief1 on OA in the Baltic Sea was furthermore published in 2020 by The Baltic Sea Centre of Stockholm University (Gustafsson & Winder 2020). This policy brief provides a general view of OA as support for policy making.

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Coastal Management Journal – Ocean acidification: insight for policy and integrated management

Today the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification, alongside several U.S. state partners released a special issue of Coastal Management Journal, “Ocean Acidification: Insight for Policy and Integrated Management,” published online by Taylor and Francis.

The special issue examines opportunities and challenges facing U.S. states in responding to ocean acidification (OA) and includes 42 authors representing government and non-government institutions across nine states.

Many of the authors are resource managers on the front lines of addressing OA, using a variety of strategies to assess information needs, develop data sets, build partnerships inside and outside state government and formulate approaches that link ocean change science to management at local and regional scales.

Impacts of climate change and increasing OA pose significant risk to states, communities and economies that enjoy and depend on thriving fisheries and shellfish production related to commercial, subsistence or cultural practices.  Although the issue consolidates current and emerging U.S. state policy directives and practices, local and international actors may benefit from lessons learned and case studies presented—further advancing subnational and national efforts to address climate and ocean change.

“Lessons learned and partnerships forged at a state level have strengthened regional alignment and international vision for action,” said Dr. Caren Braby, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on the special issue’s contributors.

The issue is comprised of four peer-reviewed articles and two essays, including:

  • Opportunities for State Governments and In-Region Partners to Address Ocean Acidification Through Management and Policy Frameworks (Turner, et al.)
  • Understanding and Advancing Natural Resource Management in the Context of Changing Ocean Conditions (Keil, et al.)
  • Monitoring Ocean Acidification Within State Borders:  Lessons Learned from Washington State (Gonski, et al.)
  • Capacity Building to Address Ocean Change: Organizing Across Communities of Place, Practice and Governance to Achieve Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Resilience in Oregon (Essay by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.)
  • Community Science for Coastal Acidification Monitoring and Research (Gassett, et al.)
  • International and Domestic Leadership by U.S. States on Ocean Acidification (Essay by Ocean Conservancy.)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Ocean and Cryosphere in Changing Climate (IPCC, 2019) has emphasized that climate change is already having major impacts on our ocean. The report warns that ocean acidification is “virtually certain” to continue to be exacerbated by carbon emissions, with a high emissions path posing the most significant risks for severe and large changes.  The Paris Agreement brought into force by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) provides a framework for 195 nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  

It is against this backdrop that subnational governments, including U.S. states, are sharing information and responding to climate and ocean change by setting ambitious goals and targets of their own to mitigate, adapt and build resiliency.

“State have the advantage of being able to act quickly, innovate and experiment with programs, investments and pilot projects.  They are typically the primary regulator—or strong influencer—in implementing most ocean-based climate solutions and responses,” said Whitney Berry, Senior Manager of Climate Policy, Ocean Conservancy.

For more information, contact Jessie Turner at

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Tie ocean acidification into your chemistry topics

Link UN sustainable development goal 14 to your teaching of dissolved ions, acids and the pH scale

A digital illustration of a swimming turtle with a 14 on its shell
Help your students see the impact that excess carbon dioxide has on the world’s oceans. Source: © hitandrun/Debut Art

Students at 14–16 will be familiar with the composition of the atmosphere and that carbon dioxide is one of the most significant greenhouse gases. The chemistry of the atmosphere and the impact of human activity on climate change is a key area of the 14–16 curriculum.

This article is part of the Sustainability in chemistry series, developed to help you integrate the UN’s sustainable development goals into your teaching of chemistry. It supports Goal 14: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

The oceans play a vital role in atmospheric chemistry by ‘mopping up’ some of the excess carbon dioxide we produce. They cover 70% of the Earth’s surface and have absorbed about a third of the carbon dioxide emitted since the industrial revolution. This links with Goal 14: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

Put it in context

Goal 14 is a good chance to introduce an important context when teaching about the atmosphere and climate change, because people tend to focus on the air around us. They’ll consider emissions from cars and factories and understand the importance of trees in the rainforest, but often ignore interactions between the atmosphere and oceans.

Student worksheet, for age range 14–16

Use this worksheet to explore and develop understanding of the pH scale and apply it in the context of ocean acidification. Extension questions provide more challenge and delve into other aspects of chemistry linked to ocean acidification, leading to a research task on the consequences for marine organisms.

Download the student worksheet as MS Word or pdf and the teacher notes (including answers) as MS Word or pdf.

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Acidification in our ocean

We, as humans, are deeply connected to our ocean whether we realize it our not. Our ocean regulates climate like the heart regulates blood flow in our bodies. Humidity, rain, and temperature are all controlled by our ocean. Burning fossil fuels adds excess heat and carbon dioxide that disrupt this system and make it harder to maintain a stable climate.

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION: Our ocean absorbs excess CO2 when we burn fossil fuels to power cars and create electricity. This excess CO2 increases acidity in our ocean on a global scale.

COASTAL ACIDIFICATION: Nutrients entering the water from land exacerbates acidification in near shore waters.


NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP). Resource.

Resource type: graphic/poster

Resource format: document/pdf

Climate change could alter undersea chemical communication

Ocean acidification could tamper with marine animals’ sense of smell and the shape of signaling molecules.

A pair of spiny lobsters locks antennae as they battle on the gravel-strewn bottom of an aquarium. The two grapple, grabbing legs and jousting with their long spines. Their aggressive actions extend beyond the show of force: the crustaceans also fire off chemical signals by peeing at each other.

Small changes in pH change how female shore crabs (Carcinus maenas) care for their eggs. Credit: Mike Park/University of Hull.

A pair of spiny lobsters locks antennae as they battle on the gravel-strewn bottom of an aquarium. The two grapple, grabbing legs and jousting with their long spines. Their aggressive actions extend beyond the show of force: the crustaceans also fire off chemical signals by peeing at each other.

“They’re actively signaling as they’re fighting,” says Charles D. Derby, a sensory biologist at Georgia State University whose lab studies these underwater wrestling matches, along with other crustacean behaviors. Lobster urine, released from the face near the base of the antennae, contains an array of compounds, including chemical cues to an animal’s sex and social status.

Lobsters are just one of myriad marine animals that rely on molecular missives. Behaviors such as finding meals, choosing habitats, avoiding predators, seeking sex, and engaging in social encounters “are all driven by chemistry, at least in part,” Derby says. By playing key roles in how critters act and relate to each other, chemical signals affect the distribution of organisms in an ecosystem. Chemoreceptors are found not only in noses or mouths; in marine animals, they also show up on fins, limbs, or, as in lobsters, antennae that they flick back and forth.

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