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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 

Ocean Acidification Program

We study our changing ocean to better understand impacts of ocean acidification and how to adapt.

Our Ocean is Changing

Our ocean is absorbing more
carbon dioxide from the
atmosphere, leading to acidification.

Ocean acidification occurs because our ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is causing a fundamental change in the chemistry of the ocean from pole to pole, leading to increased acidity and impacts to marine life and the people who depend on them. NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program seeks to better prepare society to respond to ocean acidification by expanding our understanding through research and interdisciplinary partnerships. 

Read More about Ocean Acidification

Featured Ocean Acidification Projects

Visit our Projects Search to learn about all of our active projects. 

Why we care Iron is a critical limiting nutrient for phytoplankton in the ocean. Iron fertilization adds this limiting nutrient to promote phytoplankton blooms as a way to take up..

Why we care Ocean alkalinity enhancement has the potential to capture carbon and mitigate ocean acidification. While ocean alkalinity enhancement is a promising approach for removing carbon from the atmosphere,..

Why we care Terrestrial liming, or the addition of a basic (alkaline) material like calcium carbonate to crops and lawns is a common agricultural soil treatment. When applied on land..

OAP Happenings

NOAA OAP’s 2023 Accomplishments

NOAA OAP selects, funds, and manages high priority, high-quality research, monitoring, and outreach activities to understand how fast the acidification is changing, and impacts these changes have on marine life, people, and economies. Check out some of the 2023 accomplishment highlights.

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More News

Check out the latest posts from the Ocean Acidification Program

Get involved with ocean acidification

The NOAA Ocean Acidification Program exists to meet the ocean acidification research and monitoring needs of the U.S. See how you can get involved to serve your community and participate in cutting-edge research and education and outreach. 

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ADAPTING TO OCEAN ACIDIFICATION

The NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) works to prepare society to adapt to the consequences of ocean acidification and conserve marine ecosystems as acidification occurs. Learn more about the human connections and adaptation strategies from these efforts.

Adaptation approaches fostered by the OAP include:

FORECASTING

Using models and research to understand the sensitivity of organisms and ecosystems to ocean acidification to make predictions about the future, allowing communities and industries to prepare

MANAGEMENT

Using these models and predictions as tools to facilitate management strategies that will protect marine resources and communities from future changes

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

Developing innovative tools to help monitor ocean acidification and mitigate changing ocean chemistry locally

REDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

On the Road

Drive fuel-efficient vehicles or choose public transportation. Choose your bike or walk! Don't sit idle for more than 30 seconds. Keep your tires properly inflated.

With your Food Choices

Eat local- this helps cut down on production and transport! Reduce your meat and dairy. Compost to avoid food waste ending up in the landfill

With your Food Choices

Make energy-efficient choices for your appliances and lighting. Heat and cool efficiently! Change your air filters and program your thermostat, seal and insulate your home, and support clean energy sources

By Reducing Coastal Acidification

Reduce your use of fertilizers, Improve sewage treatment and run off, and Protect and restore coastal habitats

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TAKE ACTION WITH YOUR COMMUNITY

You've taken the first step to learn more about ocean acidification - why not spread this knowledge to your community?

Every community has their unique culture, economy and ecology and what’s at stake from ocean acidification may be different depending on where you live.  As a community member, you can take a larger role in educating the public about ocean acidification. Creating awareness is the first step to taking action.  As communities gain traction, neighboring regions that share marine resources can build larger coalitions to address ocean acidification.  Here are some ideas to get started:

  1. Work with informal educators, such as aquarium outreach programs and local non-profits, to teach the public about ocean acidification. Visit our Education & Outreach page to find the newest tools!
  2. Participate in habitat restoration efforts to restore habitats that help mitigate the effects of coastal acidification
  3. Facilitate conversations with local businesses that might be affected by ocean acidification, building a plan for the future.
  4. Partner with local community efforts to mitigate the driver behind ocean acidification  – excess CO2 – such as community supported agriculture, bike & car shares and other public transportation options.
  5. Contact your regional Coastal Acidification Network (CAN) to learn how OA is affecting your region and more ideas about how you can get involved in your community
       More for Taking Community Action