Scripps Presents Southern California Premiere of Film on Climate Change's Impact on Oceans

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WHAT: Imagine a world without fish. A new documentary on climate change and the oceans proposes just that.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego will host the Southern California premiere of the film, "A Sea Change," the first documentary about ocean acidification, a little-known but potentially devastating threat to ocean life. Following the screening will be a question-and-answer period with award-winning filmmakers Sven Huseby and Barbara Ettinger, along with Scripps experts who conduct research on ocean acidification. They include Scripps Oceanography Director Tony Haymet, marine chemist Andrew Dickson and biological oceanographer Victoria Fabry, who is featured prominently in the film.

THE FILM SCREENING IS FREE AND THE PUBLIC IS INVITED

WHEN: Thursday, May 7, 2009, 5:30 p.m. (90-minute film, followed by 20-minute Q&A)

WHERE: Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society and the Environment (Scripps Seaside Forum), 8610 Kennel Way, just north of El Paseo Grande in La Jolla. Limited parking is available in adjacent lots. Street parking is also available off El Paseo Grande and La Jolla Shores Drive.

FILM BACKGROUND: Sven Huseby, a lifelong environmentalist, never knew that greenhouse gases endanger the oceans until he read a 2006 New Yorker article on the devastating effects of ocean acidification. The process, by which excess carbon dioxide alters water chemistry, is creating a profound threat to the food chain.

Huseby and his partner and wife, award-winning director Barbara Ettinger, have created a feature-length documentary about ocean acidification that takes viewers all over the globe. The odyssey begins when Huseby, who stars in the film, meets the author of the New Yorker article, and continues as he meets with charismatic entrepreneurs whose daring innovations may help turn the tide on changing ocean chemistry.

Driving Huseby's voyage is concern for his five-year-old grandson Elias and what environmental conditions his generation will inherit. "A Sea Change" shows viewers how they can begin to discuss the complex threats of climate change with younger generations.

SCRIPPS RESEARCH: Under director Tony Haymet's leadership, Scripps Oceanography is emerging as an international center of ocean acidification research. Scripps marine chemist Andrew Dickson established the reference standards that are used worldwide to ensure the uniform quality of carbon and alkalinity measurements in seawater. Such uniform, high-quality data has been key to helping scientists around the world recognize and understand the nature of ocean acidification.

Victoria Fabry, a biological oceanographer and visiting researcher at Scripps, studies the effects of ocean acidification on the mollusks known as pteropods. Fabry and Dickson plan to deploy carbon dioxide sensors this year, one in Carlsbad, Calif., and the other off the Northern California city of Trinidad. Fabry will conduct complementary tests in the lab to understand how varying pH levels affect pteropods and other marine organisms at different stages of development.

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