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Ocean Acidification

Management Decisions & Authorities, Recent Developments and Current Status

Geographic Extent
Scientific Basis
Management Decisions & Authorities, Recent Developments and Current Status
Processes and Effects


Some management issues that are faced when dealing with ocean acidification are.

-         You have to address the impacts of ocean acidification and stabilize atmospheric CO2 concentrations

-         You have to diminish as much as possible the land-based sources of pollution that add to lowering pH in coastal and ocean waters

-         You also have to diminish inputs of nitrogen and sulphur oxides and ammonium compounds that add to lowering pH in coastal and ocean waters

-         Expand the amount of public knowledge this issue is receiving

-         Mandate the inclusion of climate change actions (including those that address rising ocean acidification, sea level, and temperatures) into marine protected area (MPA) management plans as agencies routinely develop or revise their management plans. (The Honolulu Declaration On Ocean Acidification and Reef Management, 2008)

Among these, other techniques are being used to manage this ongoing problem, some of these include:

-         Point Source Management

-         Kyoto

-         Research

-         MPA’s

-         Geo-engineering proposals to mitigate global warming

-         Adaptive plans to address economy, communities and environmental effects

Current Status and Efforts:

Deep Ocean Efforts:

-         Deep ocean uptake (corals)

-         Avoid CO2 at the surface where most shell forming organisms dwell

- There are research programs now underway by the European Union

- There is a U.S. congress bill particularly concerned with ocean acidification research and monitoring

- Also an ocean acidification program with NOAA (as of March, 2009)


-         June 2008, 100 scientists, in 9 countries

-         Biological impact assessments

-         Prediction of the future

-        Studying potential tipping points and thresholds of issues

- Acid testing is also underway

FOARAM: Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act:

-         March 2009

Projected funding for Ocean Acidification research

o       2009: 14 million

o       2010: 20 million

o       2011: 25 million

o       2012: 35 million


Some results of these attempts are:

-         There is no practical or engineering solution to lower pH

-         The only mitigation option is a reduction in CO2

-         We are not aware of how life cycles will be affected, or if they could adapt

-         There are also some worry surrounding trade-offs, and their potential effects



The inconsistency of pH in the worlds oceans


To learn more about the efforts to manage ocean acidification, follow these links:

The Ocean Acidification Network

Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

BBC News release

Geography of The Seas 2009
- Allison Walsh & Tyler Power

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