Today, NOAA and its partners released the first federal strategic plan to guide research and monitoring investments that will improve our understanding of ocean acidification, its potential impacts on marine species and ecosystems, and adaptation and mitigation strategies.
New NOAA research has revealed unprecedented changes in ocean carbon dioxide in the tropical Pacific Ocean over the last 14 years, influencing the role the oceans play in current and projected global warming and ocean acidification. Natural variability has dominated patterns in ocean CO2 in this region, but observations now show human activity contributes to increasing CO2 levels.
As the lead principal investigator of the Coral Reef Monitoring Program and Ocean Acidification Program, Derek Manzello, PhD, studies the impacts of ocean acidification on reefs from a variety of ocean sites over time.
The ocean plays a huge role in the carbon cycle, absorbing 25 percent of yearly carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Adrienne Sutton's research focuses on characterizing the extent of ocean acidification in the open ocean and coral reef environments, and how processes like the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) affect variations in ocean carbon chemistry over time and space.
Led by NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory scientists Dr. Richard Feely and Dr. Simone Alin, NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Cruise ran from Seattle, WA down the west coast to Moss Landing, CA. The excess carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels is absorbed by our oceans, and this changing ocean chemistry could affect important ecosystems and fisheries. The research conducted on this cruise aims to bring greater understanding to these potential impacts.