Forecasting

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.


 

STORIES OF ADAPTATION

Oceans fail the acid test as carbon emissions rise

Oceans fail the acid test as carbon emissions rise

BY: GEOFFREY LEAN, Science

It is the little mentioned flip side of global warming – the acidification of the world’s oceans. Now new research shows that, as predicted, it is harming sea life.

Even if climate change were not taking place, the process provides compelling cause for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, for they are powering what scientists believe to be the most profound change in the chemistry of the oceans in millions of years. And its effects cannot be reversed in less than tens of millennia.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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CO2 dangerously acidifying world's oceans

CO2 dangerously acidifying world's oceans

Oceans are sucking up increased carbon emissions, raising fears acidification could lead to marine life extinctions BY: JILLIAN KESTLER DAMOURS, Aljazeera

As the effects of global climate change continue to be felt throughout the world's ecosystems, scientists say greenhouse gases are causing rapid changes that may irreversibly alter the composition of the Earth's oceans. It is estimated oceans absorb up to 30 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, helping to offset the overall warming of the planet. But the amount of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution has skyrocketed, saturating oceans and boosting acidification. Burgeoning ocean acidification raises the spectre of extinctions of coral, algae and shellfish - key cogs in the global food chain - with far reaching consequences for the planet's inhabitants.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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Ocean Acidification: It's Time to Act

Ocean Acidification: It's Time to Act

BY: GEORGE LEONARD, National Geographic

Consensus is hard. Any time you bring together a range of interests, it’s rare the group can speak in a unified voice and recommend a clear path forward. But that’s exactly what happened yesterday in Washington by its Governor and the state’s Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) on Ocean Acidification. The panel made clear that options exist for tackling ocean acidification. Coastal states and businesses that are dependent upon a healthy ocean now have a road map for action, thanks to Washington’s leadership – and oyster growers in Oregon first sounding the alarm. Ocean acidification is happening now, and we can and should take action.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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The Impact- Environmental and financial impacts of ocean acidification on the shellfish industry

a video, TVW

Host Anita Kissee visits a shellfish farm to see the environmental and financial impacts of ocean acidification on the industry. Plus, an update on the whooping cough epidemic.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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Rising ocean acidity off Washington state threatens shellfish, panel says

Rising ocean acidity off Washington state threatens shellfish, panel says

BY: The Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Rising acidity levels in the oceans pose a serious threat to shellfish and other marine life, and tackling that problem in Washington state will require reducing carbon dioxide emissions, keeping polluted runoff out of marine waters, and increasing monitoring at hatcheries, a group of experts recommended Tuesday.

The panel of scientists and policy experts convened by Gov. Chris Gregoire recommended dozens of actions to combat changes to ocean chemistry detected several years ago when oyster larvae in Pacific Northwest hatcheries began dying in large numbers.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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