Forecasting provides insight into a vision of the future by using models that visualize how quickly and where ocean chemistry will be changing in tandem with an understanding of how sensitive marine resources and communities are to these changes.  By making predictions about the future, we can better adapt and prepare for ocean acidification.

Modeling Projects

Modeling provides a glimpse into the future by combining predicted changes to ocean chemistry with impacts to both marine organisms and people.  These models allow communities and fishery managers to plan ahead and adapt to ocean acidification. Models are underway or have been completed for some of the most vulnerable species, such as Atlantic sea scallops, which are vulnerable to acidification impacts in their early life stages and represent the highest grossing single species fishery in the United States. The Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) funded a modeling project led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to develop an integrated model for forecasting the impacts of ocean acidification (OA) on the Atlantic sea scallop fishery.  The new model connects chemical changes with population changes and economic information that will be used to create interactive tools for decision makers. NOAA scientists have played an important role in development of the J-SCOPE forecast system, used to create seasonal forecasts for the North Pacific region.  These forecasts will allow fisheries managers to predict seasonal outlooks for management decisions.

Vulnerability Assessments 

Learning how sensitive marine organisms are to ocean acidification is an important part of creating management plans. These “vulnerability assessments” lay the groundwork for adaptation strategies by identifying the most ecologically, economically or culturally  important resources. Scientists at NOAA Fisheries, which are supported  by the Ocean Acidification Program (OAP), are developing vulnerability assessments in US regions that include ocean acidification as part of fishery management plans. These ocean acidification vulnerability assessments have been completed in the Northeast for a wide variety of fishes and invertebrates, such as cod and sea scallops, and are near completion in Alaska.  Additionally, a vulnerability assessment was completed for shellfish aquaculture throughout the United States.  

From Observations to Forecasts

Learning ways in which communities can adapt to ocean acidification is an important strategy for protecting human health and marine ecosystems.  Turning current observations into forecasts is the key mechanism by which these adaptation plans are created. Coastal forecasts for ocean acidification are currently being developed for the West Coast, Chesapeake Bay, the East Coast, Caribbean and the western Gulf of Mexico. Ocean acidification hotspots are areas that are particularly vulnerable, either from a biological, economic, or cultural perspective.  Identification of these hot spots in coastal waters is a priority for the Coastal Acidification Networks (CANs), fostered by the Ocean Acidification Program around the country.  These networks bring together scientists, decision makers, fishermen and other stakeholders to identify and answer the most important questions about acidification and its effects in the region.



WHOI Scientists Receive $1 Million Grant from MacArthur Foundation

WHOI Scientists Receive $1 Million Grant from MacArthur Foundation

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Rapid climate change and an increasing range of climate impacts are already being felt along our coasts, and new research suggests that U.S. Northeast coastal waters may be more vulnerable to climate change and ocean acidification than previously thought.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
California Ocean Protection Council Announces West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel

California Ocean Protection Council Announces West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel

Sacramento, CA

California and Oregon are joining forces to help address ocean acidification and hypoxia, a West Coast-wide thereat to our shared marine and coastal ecosystem.  The California Natural Resources Agency , on behalf of the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state of Oregon to jointly sponsor a high-level science panel to help address the issue of ocean acidification and hypoxia.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Shellfish industry pins hope on Freeport research

Bangor Daily News

Following a recent Town Council appropriation, the town’s shellfish community has started what is being called a “historic” effort to address the rapid disappearance of soft-shell clams.

The effort is the first comprehensive, large-scale research project in Maine to study the most significant factors believed to be contributing to the decline of shellfish resources, said Brian Beal, a professor at the University of Maine at Machias and one of the scientists working on the project.

“To the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of any community that has raised this much money for a shellfish research project, ever,” he said. “(It) underscores the commitment by the town to this very important commercial resource that they co-manage with the state of Maine.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Study shows oyster reefs buffer acidification of Chesapeake Bay

Study shows oyster reefs buffer acidification of Chesapeake Bay

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

A new study co-authored by Prof. Roger Mann of 's Virginia Institute of Marine Science adds a new item to the list of oyster reef benefits — the ability to buffer increasing acidity of ocean waters.

Concerns about increasing acidity in Chesapeake Bay and the global ocean stem from human inputs of carbon dioxide to seawater, either through burning of fossil fuels or runoff of excess nutrients from land. The latter over-fertilizes marine plants and ultimately leads to increased respiration by plankton-filtering oysters and bacteria. In either case, adding carbon dioxide to water produces carbonic acid, a process that has increased ocean acidity by more than 30 percent since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Can Acid Neutralizers Help Coral Reefs Bounce Back?


Coral reefs are in trouble worldwide, from a host of threats, including warming ocean temperatures, nutrient runoff and increasing ocean acidity. A noted climate scientist from California has been conducting an experiment on Australia's Great Barrier Reef to see whether antacid could boost coral growth.

Thursday, April 18, 2013