Posts Tagged 'education'

Ease into climate change instruction through ocean acidification

Although climate change garners the bulk of headlines, ocean acidification is an equally important issue that also results from our increasing consumption of fossil fuels. As atmospheric CO2 dissolves into the ocean, the ocean’s pH decreases, making it increasingly difficult for organisms that build calcium carbonate skeletons to grow and thrive. Given that these marine calcifiers – such as corals, snails, shellfish, crustaceans, and plankton – often form the base of oceanic food webs and are habitat and food resources for larger oceanic plants and animals (including humans), ocean acidification poses a serious threat. In this article, we present a series of investigations that provide evidence that increases in anthropogenic sources of CO2 contribute to the acidification of the ocean, and that an increasingly acidic ocean can negatively impact marine calcifiers.

Continue reading ‘Ease into climate change instruction through ocean acidification’

Global ocean governance and ocean acidification

Among many other impacts, the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), primarily induced by increased rates of fossil fuel combustion, are changing the ocean’s chemistry (Guidetti and Danavaro 2018). The resulting increased uptake of more CO2 by the ocean is making the ocean more acidic leading to deleterious harm to marine ecosystems. This ocean acidification problem needs to be seen as an increased pressure on marine living resources, which are already under intense physicochemical and biological stress due to increased ocean warming (IPCC 2013), changes in their ecosystems (Milazzo et al. 2019), and the introduction of alien, competing species (Essl et al. 2020). For example, one of the well-known effects of ocean acidification is the lowering of calcium carbonate saturation states, which negatively impacts shell-forming marine organisms that range widely from plankton to benthic molluscs, echinoderms, and corals. The potential for marine organisms to adapt to…

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Crabby’s Reef – using games to bring people closer to the issue of ocean acidification

Ocean acidification is often referred to as climate change’s hidden evil twin. As the world’s oceans partly absorb the carbon dioxide that humans are pumping into the planet’s atmosphere, the oceans’ pH decreases, making the water more acidic. This comes with a range of negative consequences, one of them being the recently uncovered impairment of the sense of smell of marine animals like fishes and crabs.

Awareness of ocean acidification, including its impacts on marine life, however, is low amongst the public. It is something that is viewed as remote to peoples’ lives, happening a long distance away and not for a long time into the future. It is important we take action now as a society to curb climate change and reduce the potential impacts of ocean acidification. Raising awareness and helping to make an emotional connection to the issue is a first step on this journey.

In Crabby’s Reef we use the power of gaming to enable players to experience the impact of this invisible and abstract process of ocean acidification. Inspired by classic arcade games, it puts players into the metaphorical shoes of Crabby, the crab. They navigate daily life on the ocean floor, guiding Crabby through the maze-like reef, seeking food and avoiding predatory octopuses who would make Crabby dinner. With each new level, you are transported to a more acidic future, your senses dampened by blurring the screen, reflecting Crabby’s loss of ability to smell the food.

With life getting harder, we ask how long can you survive?

Play the game here – https://seriousgeo.games/activities/crabbysreef/

Available online: 19–30 April 2021

Continue reading ‘Crabby’s Reef – using games to bring people closer to the issue of ocean acidification’

Southern ocean acidification and the Antarctic treaty system

This chapter explores how states party to Antarctic Treaty System instruments have addressed ocean acidification in the Southern Ocean. While there are no obligations explicitly applicable to ocean acidification, states should address the threat as part of their obligations to comprehensively protect Antarctica and its dependent and associated ecosystems, and to apply an ecosystem approach to managing Southern Ocean fisheries. The Chapter provides a critical overview of ATS initiatives to date to develop a strategic policy approach to climate change, noting the significant resistance from states to developing substantive obligations within the ATS in respect of activities taking place outside of the Antarctic Treaty area. It concludes by arguing that Article 2 of the 1991 Environmental Protocol can be interpreted to impose a due diligence obligations on parties to take action to address the causes of ocean acidification in respect of activities outside of the Antarctic Treaty area.

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Effect of climate change on endocrine regulation of fish reproduction

Climate change is a serious concern for aquatic environment which alters physical and chemical properties of the water causing negative impacts on the aquatic organisms including fish. Temperature alteration, ocean acidification, and hypoxia are the major factors associated with climate change, which affects the endocrine regulation of fish reproduction profoundly. Fish being poikilothermic animals, the change in environmental temperature directly affects their body temperature. Seasonal change in temperature has either fastened the spawning process or delayed the process depending upon the species and their spawning window. Ocean acidification and hypoxia had caused threat to larval survival by impairing larval behavior and sensory capacity. Often climate change shows extreme effect of the demography of fishes by leading to a non-spawning season in some species. Depending upon species, geographic location, and spawning ground, exogenous factors possess significant threat on fish reproduction. The present chapter will provide baseline information on effect of different factors of climate change such as temperature, ocean acidification, and hypoxia on fish reproduction and early ontogenesis phase of fish.

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Status and trends of Arctic Ocean environmental change and its impacts on marine biogeochemistry: findings from the ArCS project

Ocean observation research theme under ArCS project, “Theme 4: Observational research on Arctic Ocean environmental changes”, aimed to elucidate the status and trends of ongoing Arctic Ocean environmental changes and to evaluate their impacts on Arctic marine ecosystem and the global climate system. For these purposes, we conducted field observations, mooring observations, laboratory experiments, numerical modeling, and international collaborative research focusing on the Pacific Arctic Region (PAR) and from Pan-Arctic point of views. As a result, we have published several scientific studies on environmental changes and their impact on the climate and ecosystem. In this manuscript, we compiled these results with some concluding remarks. We found physical environmental changes of water cycle, sea-ice and ocean conditions, heat transport, and ocean mixing in the Arctic Ocean and surrounding areas. We also examined chemical properties, carbon, cycle, and ocean acidification in the Arctic Ocean. In addition, new findings regarding impacts of sea-ice reduction to primary productivities were published. For public outreach of Arctic research, we were able to develop an educational tool (a board game named “The Arctic”) in collaboration with Themes 6 and 7.

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Impact of an inquiry-based science activity about climate change on development of primary students’ investigation skills and conceptual knowledge

Climate change is one of the major challenges facing society today and more effective education is needed on this topic. This study analysed the effects of an inquiry-based science activity about climate change effects in ocean ecosystems, done in a research laboratory and in the classroom, on primary students’ knowledge, investigation skills and satisfaction. Data were collected through the application of pretests and posttests, direct observation, questionnaires, interviews and document analysis. Results revealed an increase in students’ scientific knowledge and application to new situations. Regarding investigation skills, all students were able to make predictions, and to easily observe and register data. However, experimental planning and conclusions were more difficult for them. Students and teachers emphasised their satisfaction with the outdoor activity, teamwork and the subject. The present study revealed a positive
effect of the participation in the inquiry-based activity, embedded on a socio-scientific issue, in students’ conceptual knowledge and in the development of investigation skills.

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Participatory research on using virtual reality to teach ocean acidification: a study in the marine education community

Ocean Acidification (OA) is an emerging environmental issue that is still largely unknown to the public and in its infancy in terms of educational strategies. OA teaching material should address the specific challenges that educators face while building learners’ understanding of OA. The objective of this study is two-fold. First, we identified the barriers to teaching OA as experienced by formal and informal marine educators. Second, we provided educators an opportunity to experience virtual reality and discuss how it could serve as a tool for face-to-face and distance learning to address the identified challenges. The findings shed light on four overarching themes of challenges to teaching OA: lack of science literacy, unprepared education field, complex and invisible nature of OA and lack of personal connection with the ocean. Marine educators consider empowerment, perspective-taking and visualization as the three principal avenues through which virtual reality may contribute to mitigating the challenges to teaching OA.

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A case study using the New Ecological Paradigm scale to evaluate coastal and marine environmental perception in the Greater São Paulo (Brazil)

Highlights

•For most respondents, current environmental changes have been treated with exaggerated concern.

•People’s environmental are related to the relationship to coastal areas.•

The grouping variable reflected different marine environmental perception.

•There’s still a belief that man can rule the nature.

•Educational background and scientific dissemination in Brazil are still unsatisfying.

Abstract

The individuals’ perception may vary according to their values and life experiences, thus, the goal of the present study was to evaluate if the relationship to coastal areas (work, research and leisure) and frequency of beach attendance would influence the environmental perception of people living in greater São Paulo (Brazil). The environmental values were measured using online questionnaires based on the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scale (adapted to coastal and marine environments) and considering that the type of relation with the coastal environment could alter their level of perception. A total of 386 participants answered the questionnaires and the results showed mainly a pro-NEP attitude of all respondents, However, people that establish some kind of relationship to marine environment presented significantly higher scores. In general, although they were conscious that we are reaching the Earth’s limit and that the human interference on the environment is mainly negative, there was still a belief that human beings are able to dominate nature and in the inexhaustibility of marine resources, once we know how to handle it. Besides that, most respondents think that climate change; sea level rise and ocean acidification has been treated with exaggerated concern. The results also showed that age and educational level significantly influenced the participants’ performance in the test. Therefore, we conclude that there is a necessity of educational investment from the beginning of the school age on and the importance of good quality in scientific dissemination.

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Using long-term data from Antarctica to teach ocean acidification

There is a mystery to be solved! This lesson plan asks students to identify the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of ocean acidification (OA). Global oceans have absorbed approximately a third of the CO2 produced by human activities, such as burning of fossil fuels, over the past decade (Sabine et al. 2004). This accumulation of CO2 in the ocean has lowered average global ocean pH and decreased the concentration of carbonate ions (CO32-) (Fabry et al. 2008). As a result of this OA, the carbonate chemistry of the global ocean is rapidly changing and affecting marine organisms (Orr et al. 2005). Pteropods (open-ocean snails) are considered bioindicators of OA due to the vulnerability of their aragonitic shells dissolving under increasingly acidic conditions from a changing climate (Figure 1) (Orr et al. 2005; Bednaršek et al. 2014). This lesson plan can be found at: >https://www.vims.edu/research/units/centerspartners/map/education/profdev/VASEA/lessons.php.

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OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book