As the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased over recent history, so has the acidity of oceans worldwide. The changing acidity of the ocean has many ecological and economic impacts, one of the most serious being its effects on marine life and fisheries. The impact of ocean acidification is intensified in colder bodies of water such as those off the coast of New England, a region with a large fisheries sector. These impacts have already been recognized on both coasts, with the Washington, Maine, and Maryland state legislatures commissioning reports on ocean acidification and marine life/fisheries. In 2015, the Massachusetts Legislature also introduced a bill to establish a taskforce to investigate the impact of increasingly acidic waters off the coast of Massachusetts on commercially harvested or grown marine species.
This course addresses how geoscience helps us to understand ocean acidification, ocean acidification's impacts on marine life, and what states and municipalities can do to reduce the fishery-related economic impacts of ocean acidification.
The course presenters are Bärbel Hönisch from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory/Columbia University, Jon Hare from NOAA Fisheries Narragansett, and Hauke Kite-Powell from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
- American Geosciences Institute