NOAA'S OCEAN ACIDIFICATION PROGRAM

The mission of the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) is to better prepare society to respond to changing ocean conditions and resources by expanding understanding of ocean acidification, through interdisciplinary partnerships, nationally and internationally.


The NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) was established in May 2011, by the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring (FOARAM; 33 U.S.C. Chapter 50, Sec. 3701-3708) Act

The OAP pursues science to improve our understanding of how (and how fast) the chemistry of the ocean is changing, how variable that change is by region, and what impacts these changes are having on marine life, people, and the local, regional, and national economies. In support of NOAA’s mission to understand changes in the world’s oceans, share that knowledge, and conserve coastal and marine ecosystems, the OAP plays an integral role in maintaining long-term ocean acidification monitoring; conducting research designed to to understand marine ecosystems sensitivity to acidification; promoting relevant educational opportunities; engaging in national public outreach activities related to ocean acidification and its impacts; and coordinating activities with other agencies and appropriate international ocean science bodies. As part of its responsibilities, the OAP provides grants for critical research projects that explore the effects on marine organisms, ecosystems and the socioeconomic impacts that can lead to potential adaptive strategies.


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Find out more about OAP's Areas of Focus

 

Understanding the exposure of the nation’s living marine resources such as shellfish and corals to changing ocean chemistry is a primary goal for the NOAA OAP. 

Repeat hydrographic surveys, ship-based surface observations, and time series stations (mooring and ship-based) in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans have allowed us to begin to understand the long-term changes in carbonate chemistry in response to ocean acidification. These efforts are made possible by working with many divisions and programs within NOAA, partnering with federal and state agencies, and academic and private institutions. There are many approaches and platforms from which these observations can be made. Learn more...

 

 

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 ocean-acidification focused experimental 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, and a number of the systems can also control oxygen and 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. Find out more about what species we're researching...

 

 

Education and outreach are vital to improving the public's awareness and understanding of ocean acidification.

This includes not only increasing the general awareness that ocean acidification is happening now, but also the understanding the current scientific knowledge and impacts of the ocean's changing chemistry. There are many programs within NOAA that are active in educating a variety of audiences about this and other issues including NOAA's Office of Education, the National Sea Grant Program, the Climate Program Office, the Coral Reef Conservation Program, the National Marine Sanctuaries Program, and the various Fisheries Science Centers around the nation. Find out more about OAP Education & Outreach...

 

 

How can we adapt to our changing ocean? The NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) is working to build knowledge about how to adapt to the consequences of ocean acidification (OA) and responsibly manage marine ecosystems as acidification occurs.

Ocean acidification is a threat to food security, economies, and culture because of its potential impacts on marine ecosystem services. One of the first steps in developing adaptation strategies is to learn how sensitive organisms and communities are to ocean acidification; with that knowledge predictions about the future can be made.  These sensitivities to ocean acidification can then be incorporated into management plans and new technologies can be created to help monitor and protect sensitive organisms and ecosystems in the future.  Find out more about societal impacts and our efforts to build adaptation strategies...

 

 

NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) scientists collect a variety of data to understand changing ocean chemistry and its impacts on marine organisms and ecosystems.

The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) serves as the NOAA Ocean Acidification data management focal point through its Ocean Acidification Data Stewardship (OADS) project. Ocean acidification (OA) data will be archived at and available from an ocean acidification data stewardship system at NCEI.  Access our data page.


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Ocean Acidification Program Drivers