NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program supports research that focuses on economically and ecologically important marine species. Research of survival, growth, and physiology of marine organisms can be used to explore how aquaculture, wild fisheries, and food webs may change as ocean chemistry changes.
A number of NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Science Centers have state-of-the-art experimental facilities to study the response of marine organisms to the chemistry conditions expected with ocean acidification.
The Northeast Fisheries Science Center has facilities at its Sandy Hook, NJ and Milford, CT laboratories; the Alaska Fisheries Science Centers at its Newport, OR and Kodiak, AK laboratories; and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center at its Mukilteo and Manchester, WA laboratories. All facilities can tightly control carbon dioxide and temperature. The Northwest Fisheries Science Center can also control oxygen, and can create variable treatment conditions for carbon dioxide, temperature, and oxygen. These facilities include equipment for seawater carbon chemistry analysis, and all use standard operating procedures for analyzing carbonate chemistry to identify the treatment conditions used in experiments.
Both deep sea and shallow reef-building corals have calcium carbonate skeletons. As our oceans become more acidic, carbonate ions, which are an important part of calcium carbonate structures, such as these coral skeletons, become relatively less abundant. Decreases in seawater carbonate ion concentration can make building and maintaining calcium carbonate structures difficult for calcifying marine organisms such as coral.
Increased levels of carbon dioxide in our ocean can have a wide variety of impacts on fish, including altering behavior, otolith (a fish's ear bone) formation, and young fish's growth. Find out more about what scientists are learning about ocean acidification impacts on fish like rockfish, scup, summer flounder, and walleye pollock.
Shellfish, such as oyster, clams, crabs and scallop, provide food for marine life and for people, too. Shellfish make their shells or carapaces from calcium carbonate, which contains carbonate ion as a building block. The decreases in seawater carbonate ion concentration expected with ocean acidification can make building and maintaining calcium carbonate structures difficult for calcifying marine organisms like shellfish. This may impact their survival, growth, and physiology, and, thus, the food webs and economies that depend on them.
Plankton are tiny plants and animals that many marine organisms, ranging from salmon to whales, rely on for nutrition. Some plankton have calcium carbonate structures, which are built from carbonate ions. Carbonate ions become relatively less abundant as the oceans become more acidic. Decreases in seawater carbonate ions can make building and maintaining shells and other calcium carbonate structures difficult for calcifying marine organisms such as plankton. Changes to the survival, growth, and physiology of plankton can have impacts throughout the food web.
Author: Taylor Armstong/Tuesday, October 17, 2017/Categories: ocean acidification, Research Proposals, Coastal Acidification
The Ocean Carbon & Biogeochemistry (OCB) Program is working with a scientific organizing committee to plan the 4th U.S. Ocean Acidification Principal Investigators meeting in conjunction with the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting, February 7-19, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. There will be numerous relevant sessions on changing ocean chemistry and ecosystem response at the Ocean Sciences Meeting that will help facilitate discussion at the Ocean Acidification PI Meeting afterward.
The goal of this meeting is to bring funded and newly emerging PIs together to share ongoing research on ocean acidification and co-stressors, discuss the progress of the field over past 5-10 years, and develop new collaborations for the future. The outcomes of the meeting will be participant-driven, including new papers, projects, etc. Based on our initial polling of the community, there is interest in the following topical areas:
Ocean acidification and co-stressor impacts on organisms
Ocean carbon chemistry
Sensor and technical development and advancements in experimental design
Ocean acidification and co-stressor modeling developments
If you are interested in attending the meeting, apply by November 6th using this link: OCB OA PI Meeting
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