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.
Ruben van Hooidonk of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and Peter E.T. Edwards of NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, also contributed to the perspective. The lead authors were Julia Ekstrom and Lisa Suatoni of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
A new study shows, for the first time, that ocean acidification is driving changes in waters vital to Alaska’s commercial fisheries and traditional subsistence way of life.
As one of our planet’s most under-recognized challenges, ocean acidification is emerging because the sea is absorbing increasing amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. CO2 concentrations are now higher than at any time during the past 800,000 years, and the current rate of increase is likely unprecedented in history. Ocean acidification is literally causing a sea change, threatening the fundamental health of ocean and coastal waters from pole to pole. And, as the new study indicates, the implications for Alaska may be profound.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The release of carbon dioxide into the air from power plant smokestacks to the tailpipe on your car could pose a risk to red king crab and other lucrative fisheries in Alaska, a new report says.
Ocean water becomes more acidic when it absorbs carbon dioxide released by human sources, such as the burning of fossil fuels. Increased ocean acidification could harm important Alaska commercial and subsistence fisheries and communities that rely heavily on them, according to the new research aimed at spurring discussion on how to address the changes.
Ocean acidification is driving changes in waters vital to Alaska’s valuable commercial fisheries and subsistence way of life, according to new NOAA-led research that will be published online in Progress in Oceanography.
Many of Alaska’s nutritionally and economically valuable marine fisheries are located in waters that are already experiencing ocean acidification, and will see more in the near future, the study shows. Communities in southeast and southwest Alaska face the highest risk from ocean acidification because they rely heavily on fisheries that are expected to be most affected by ocean acidification, and have underlying factors that make those communities more vulnerable, such as lower incomes and fewer employment opportunities.
Ian Enochs, a scientist with NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies at the University of Miami, traveled in May to the Island of Maug in the Pacific Ocean as part of a NOAA expedition aboard NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai to study coral reef ecosystems. We caught up with Enochs to learn about his research on underwater vents that seep carbon dioxide into the Pacific.
Why journey to the Island of Maug to study ocean acidification?
Maug is a unique natural laboratory that allows us to study how ocean acidification affects coral reef ecosystems. We know of no other area like this in U.S. waters. Increasing carbon dioxide in seawater is a global issue because it makes it harder for animals like corals to build skeletons