Starting Nov. 11, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and its Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation will send a delegation of Ph.D. students to Warsaw, Poland, for the 19th Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP19).
The students compose a group known as Ocean Scientists for Informed Policy (OSIP), and will share their knowledge of oceanic climate change with both international leaders at the two-week United Nations event and the general public. At the same time, they will inform the public of world leaders’ efforts to curb the dangerous effects of climate change through video blog posts and social media outreach.
“The ocean plays a critical role in mitigating climate change, absorbing over 90 percent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases emitted by fossil fuel combustion, and takes up about 25 percent of our carbon emissions every year. However, it remains a rare topic of discussion in the international climate policy forum,” said Yassir Eddebbar, a Scripps Ph.D. student who is co-organizing an COP19 presentation on “Climate Change and the World’s Oceans” with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the U.S. State Department. “Communicating observed changes to the world’s ocean is very important to the policy community, especially for setting science-based adaptation strategies and mitigation targets.”
“OSIP intends to fill the growing gap between science and policy by bringing recent and relevant advances in ocean sciences to the panel events of the U.N. Conference of Parties, while keeping the public, and especially scientists at home, aware of climate change policy developments. These students hope to develop from a young academic age the ability to cross ‘disciplinary language’ boundaries, a skill that is necessary to address issues at the science-policy interface,” Eddebbar added.
Scripps Ph.D. student Natalya Gallo will speak at “Climate Change and the World’s Oceans” panel discussion on Nov. 12. Her talk, which will be seen in Warsaw by a policymaking audience from across the globe, is titled “Ocean Deoxygenation in a Warming World.” Among relatively very few discussions of climate change impacts on the oceans, Gallo’s is the only talk on deoxygenation scheduled to take place during COP19.
UNESCO’s delegation invited Scripps Ph.D. student Lauren Linsmayer to present alongside colleagues from NOAA and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the U.K., among others during a Nov. 18 panel discussion. Linsmayer’s talk, “Ocean Acidification: The Other CO2 Problem,” will discuss the biological and ecosystem effects of ocean acidification.
Several additional graduate students from UC San Diego will attend the conference in order to publicize their experiences at the proceedings through social media and a daily video blog, which will be made available to the general public through the website oceanscientists.org.
The Scripps students will be travelling as part of the UC Revelle Program on Climate Science and Policy, the delegation accredited by the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change to represent the University of California and associates. UC San Diego students who are part of the delegation also include Emily Bockmon, Kathryn Furby, Sara Kerosky, Chris Neighbors, Nick Obradovich, Sierra Joy Stevens-McGeever, and Amy Van Cise.
Representatives of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley are also attending as part of the UC Revelle delegation.