Posts Tagged 'film'

Ocean acidification: what happens to coral reefs? (text & video)

As the ocean acidifies, marine life comes under threat. Bubble sites in Papua New Guinea act as a time machine, allowing us to see the future we’re heading towards. How can we avert the worst effects of ocean acidification?

Learn more about ocean acidification in my film Sea of Life:

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification: what happens to coral reefs? (text & video)’

Oceans of change: using nuclear science to study ocean acidification

The negative impacts of man-made CO2 emissions on the environment are already well researched and documented. But the damaging effects of the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide that are ending up in our seas and oceans are less well known.

Marine scientists at the IAEA’s Environment Laboratories in Monaco are using a range of nuclear and isotopic techniques to study a process known as “Ocean Acidification”.

IAEA, 18 September 2013. Resource.

Resource type: film

Resource format: video

The Ocean Acidification Day of Action 2021

The 8th of January (08.01) was chosen to be the Ocean Acidification Day of Action because 8.1 is the current pH of the ocean.

Global ocean acidification is a clear illustration of one of the profound effects of sustained climate change. This phenomenon is changing the chemistry of our oceans and affecting the health of many marine animals, some of which people rely on for their livelihood and for food. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) is using nuclear and nuclear-derived technologies to better understand and address this important issue.

According to Peter Swarzenski from the IAEA in Monaco: “With our international partners, this project plays a key role bringing together global leaders in ocean acidification science and policy. Together, we enable Member States to positively engage in ocean change issues as part of the UN Ocean Decade and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

IAEA, YouTube, 8 January 2021. Resource.

Resource type: film

Resource format: video

Testing the waters: acidification in the Mediterranean

Testing the Waters: Acidification in the Mediterranean is the summit of the MedSeA Project’s dissemination efforts to reach the widest audience possible, in order to raise awareness on the constant dangers stemming from ocean acidification and warming. Aquaculture, the tourism and leisure industries, and the whole economy of a large share of Europe’s coastline and population are threatened by these stresses. Spreading as much information as possible, while engaging policy-makers to address this issue and start devising solutions, is one of the key objectives of the MedSeA Project.

The European Mediterranean Sea Acidification in a changing climate (MedSeA) initiative was a project funded by the European Commission under Framework Program 7 (2011-2014).  It involved 22 institutions (including 6 associated partners) from 12 countries.

MedSeA assesses uncertainties, risks and thresholds related to Mediterranean acidification at organismal, ecosystem and economical scales. It also emphasizes conveying the acquired scientific knowledge to a wider audience of reference users, while suggesting policy measures for adaptation and mitigation that will vary from one region to another.

Mediterranean Sea Acidification (MedSeA), 6 August 2014. Resource.

Resource type: film

Resource format: video

Ocean impacts of climate change

Travel to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with Joshua Jackson, and witness the beauty of a fragile reef ecosystem that could be lost if people continue to release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere at current levels.

In a conversation with a University of Queensland marine biologist, Jackson learns how science has only recently connected climate change with ocean acidification. The ocean absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere and the CO2 reacts with seawater, increasing the ocean’s acidity. Higher acidity is harmful to coral and other marine life. Though humans have assumed that our vast ocean is an inexhaustible resource, it appears the ocean’s resilience is reaching its limit.

In this clip from Years of Living Dangerously, actor Joshua Jackson scuba dives along the Great Barrier Reef, an ecosystem at risk due to climate change.


Find more of this story in the “Collapse of the Oceans” episode of the National Geographic Channel’s Years of Living Dangerously series.

National Geographic. Resource.

Resource type: film

Resource format: video

Exploring ocean change

From the Arctic to the tropics, ocean acidification changes life in the sea. By absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, the ocean slows down global climate change. But in seawater, the greenhouse gas causes a chemical reaction with far-reaching consequences: carbonic acid is formed, and the pH drops. Many plants and animals that build their shells or skeletons of calcium carbonate are at serious risk, because they need more energy to maintain growth in more acidic water. Also the development of important food fish can be affected. Organisms that convert carbon dioxide into energy by photosynthesis, however, could benefit. In addition, certain species are able to adapt to new conditions in the long run. The roles in the marine food web are redefined, while other factors such as rising temperatures, loss of oxygen, eutrophication, pollution or overfishing additionally might further influence the effects of ocean acidification.

The German research network BIOACID examines the effects of acidification on the life and biogeochemical cycles in the ocean – and on all those who depend on it.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports the project that is coordinated by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.

Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification (BIOACID), 1 November 2016. Resource.

Resource type: film

Resource format: video

The acid test

Scientists refer to ocean acidification as the other carbon problem.  The first, of course, is global warming.

People have heard about global warming for decades, but it’s only over the past five years that experts really understood that the carbon dioxide is causing a problem for the oceans as well.

When we burn coal, oil, and gas, we introduce carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but the atmosphere touches the ocean over 70 percent of Earth’s surface, so this carbon dioxide we’re putting into the atmosphere we are also putting into the ocean.

What happens when so much carbon dioxide, 22 millions tons of it each day, mixes with ocean water?  In terms of chemistry, the answer is simple: it becomes an acid.

Since the industrial revolution, the ocean acidity has increased by 30. If we continue to pollute as we are right now, the ocean acidity will double by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial times. That’s a big problem.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Resource.

Resource type: film

Resource format: video

Ocean acidification and biodiversity

Why are the oceans becoming more acidic and how does that threaten biodiversity? Human activities produce excessive carbon dioxide and much of it is absorbed by the oceans, where it is converted to an acid.

Australian Academy of Science, 30 June 2014. Resource.

Resource type: film

Resource format: video

The other CO2 problem

A short, powerful and entertaining animation about the issue of ocean acidification, produced by Ridgeway School (Plymouth, UK) and Plymouth Marine Laboratory ( Funded by the European Project on Ocean Acidification (

Plymounth Marine Laboratory, YouTube, 9 May 2011. Resource.

Resource type: film

Resource format: video

NOAA-OAP service account

The mission of the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) is to better prepare society to respond to changing ocean conditions and resources by expanding understanding of ocean acidification, through interdisciplinary partnerships, nationally and internationally. The content on this channel includes various seminars the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program has hosted to increase understanding of ocean acidification and tools that are available to scientists, educators, and communicators

NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP). Resource.

Resource type: film

Resource format: video

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OA-ICC Highlights