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

State panel calls for stronger action to combat ocean acidification

State panel calls for stronger action to combat ocean acidification

BY: CRAIG WELCH, The Seattle Times

To combat ocean acidification in Washington, the state needs to better track the changing chemistry of Puget Sound, reduce stormwater runoff and nutrient pollution that worsen the problem, and counteract souring waters by sprinkling shells in estuaries or growing more carbon-gobbling vegetation. 

But above all, the state must advocate for regional, national and international policies to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, according to authors of a first-of-its-kind report released Tuesday about the changing chemistry of Washington's marine waters.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Washington is first state to tackle ocean acidification

Washington is first state to tackle ocean acidification

BY: KENNETH R. WEISS, The Los Angeles Times

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire on Tuesday ordered state agencies to take initial steps to combat ocean acidification, making it the first state to address problematic changes in ocean chemistry that threaten shellfish farms, wild-caught fish and other marine life. Gregoire signed the executive order based on the recommendation of a blue ribbon panel of experts that pointed out how increasingly acidified waters pose a direct threat to the state’s $270 million shellfish industry. “A healthy ocean is critical to our health and our coastal economies,” Gregoire said in a statement. “We have learned that human caused emissions of carbon dioxide are dramatically altering the ocean’s chemistry at an alarming rate… Ocean acidification is yet another reason to quickly and significantly reduce emissions of carbon dioxide across the planet.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Washington State Targets Pollutants that Lead to Ocean Acidification

Washington State Targets Pollutants that Lead to Ocean Acidification

BY: DAVID MALAKOFF, Science

In the first state-level action of its kind, the governor of Washington today announced that her state will try to protect valuable shellfish industries and marine life from ocean acidification. Responding to a report that she requested, Governor Chris Gregoire said she has directed state agencies to take steps to reduce the pollutants that contribute to acidification. She also plans to ask the state legislature to establish a new acidification research center at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Gregoire orders action on ocean acidification

BY: 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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Washington state confronts ocean acidification

Washington state confronts ocean acidification

BY: JULIET EILPERIN, The Washington Post

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) ordered state agencies on Tuesday to take steps to address the ocean’s increasing acidity, making it the first state to adopt a policy to take on what scientists describe as a growing environmental concern.

Ocean acidification poses a threat to the state’s $270 million shellfish industry, as well as to critical habitat off its shores.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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