Ocean Acidification

Carbon dioxide emissions are resulting in increased concentrations of CO2 in the world’s oceans. What does CO2 from air pollution do to ocean life? Coral reefs, shellfish and other marine life are unable to form shells, bones and exoskeletons.  When any marine species is harmed, that leads to problems with other species in the Earth’s food web.

Ocean acidification is among the most urgent environmental crises facing our oceans and our planet – and the full implications have yet to be fully understood.  This area of research requires a multidisciplinary approach to gain a better understanding of the interactions between atmospheric and ocean chemistry, physics, biogeochemistry and the interactions of these processes with marine organisms. CMBC facilitates interactions and synergies among research laboratories, creating a multidimensional, integrated understanding of acidification effects from the cellular to organismal and ecosystem levels. Working together the group seeks to develop computer modeling systems and field studies to collect accurate, useful data.

This initiative increases the visibility of the ocean acidification issues and fosters a greater public understanding of the threats from continued carbon dioxide emissions.
Research Labs Participating:
Andrew Dickson: variability in ocean carbon chemistry
Todd Martz:  Sensor developer for CO2 system parameters and ocean biogeochemistry
Jennifer Smith (OA working group lead): how OA affect benthic marine species and communities (mainly coral reefs).; quantifying natural variability in carbonate chemistry.
Martin Tresguerres: molecular and cellular mechanisms for sensing CO2, pH and bicarbonate in diverse marine organisms
Richard Norris:  past changes in carbonate chemistry of the ocean as an ancient analog to future global change
Lisa Levin: natural and climate-change induced variability of pH and oxygen in upwelling ecosystems & consequences for early life stages;  influence of kelp forests on the carbonate system and developing geochemical proxies (in shell and statolith) for invertebrate exposure to low pH.
David Kline:  impacts of ocean acidification and warming on the ecology and physiology of coral reef organisms using a variety of approaches including custom-developed Coral Proto Free Ocean Carbon Enrichment system (CP-FOCE).
Lisa Ballance: Represents NOAA-NMFS- members who have been involved in efforts to address OA.
Uwe Send :monitoring and interpreting oceanographic variability or dissolved oxygen and pH
Andreas Andersson : effects of OA on coral reef biogeochemical processes including net production and net calcification and the role of positive and negative feedback mechanisms between seawater chemistry and biology.
Ron Burton: changes in gene expression and biochemical adaptations to environmental stresses including OA.