We caught up with Dwight Gledhill, deputy director of NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program, and one of the 17 authors of a perspective published today in Nature Climate Change on vulnerability of U.S. shellfisheries to ocean acidification.
A global report released this week on changing carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land environment draws heavily from data and observations by NOAA research scientists and their partners. For the first time, the annual assessment by the Global Carbon Project uses data obtained from autonomous instruments installed by NOAA scientists on its ships and other ships of opportunity and moorings to determine the variability of carbon dioxide in the surface ocean.
The Southern Ocean that encircles Antarctica lends a considerable hand in keeping Earth's temperature hospitable by soaking up half of the human-made carbon in the atmosphere and a majority of the planet's excess heat. Yet, the inner workings — and global importance — of this ocean that accounts for 30 percent of the world's ocean area remains relatively unknown to scientists, as observations remain hindered by dangerous seas.
For the first time since carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been measured, the levels of this greenhouse gas at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, have been above 400 parts per million every single day for three straight months.
NOAA’s latest Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI), released today, Friday, May 2, 2014, shows that the warming influence from human-emitted gases continued to increase in 2013. This trend that began with the Industrial Revolution of the 1880s has accelerated in recent decades.