New research by NOAA, University of Alaska, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the journal Oceanography shows that surface waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas could reach levels of acidity that threaten the ability of animals to build and maintain their shells by 2030, with the Bering Sea reaching this level of acidity by 2044.
We caught up recently with Remy Okazaki at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
in Seattle. Remy is a chemist with the University of Washington Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) working with PMEL’s carbon team on the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE
, a global competition to advance ocean pH sensing technology to better understand, measure and address ocean acidification. On May 14, XPRIZE will begin the final phase of testing in deep water off the northern coast of Oahu, Hawaii, aboard the R/V Kilo Moana
Beginning April 10, scientists aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will begin a series of 20 dives to investigate previously unseen depths of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean – and the public can follow along online.
During dives that are expected to go as deep as 3.7 miles, a sophisticated unmanned submarine, called a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, will broadcast live video from the seafloor, allowing anyone with Internet access to watch the expedition as it unfolds.
In Alaska’s Bering Strait and Arctic regions, there are dozens of Alaskan Native tribes, many of whom depend on the marine environment for food, as they have in some cases for thousands of years. In this world more foreign to most Americans than many other countries (and bigger than many too) works exactly one NOAA Oceanic & Atmospheric Research Sea Grant extension agent: Gay Sheffield.
New research published in Marine Policy from the first Alaska-focused study on public understanding and awareness of ocean acidification risk shows that Alaskans are three times more aware of ocean acidification than Americans in general. However, Alaskans have difficulty seeing ocean acidification as an immediate risk, and the direct risks to Alaska’s fisheries are still not well understood. The research, “Gauging perceptions of ocean acidification in Alaska,” can be read online.