Ocean acidification

The term ocean acidification is used to describe the ongoing decrease in ocean pH caused by human CO2 emissions, such as the burning of fossil fuels. This is having an adverse effect on many important marine species such as corals, oysters, crabs and plankton, and due to the unprecedented rate of acidification they may not have time to evolve mechanisms to cope with the changing chemistry of the ocean.

PML scientists have been at the forefront of developing the science of ocean acidification and pivotal in placing the issues surrounding the science firmly onto the international agenda.

We are working to advance understanding of ocean acidification, from studies of how the chemistry of the ocean is changing to how marine organisms, biodiversity and ecosystems respond to ocean acidification, thus improving knowledge of their resistance or susceptibility to acidification, to help inform future management practices.

A key finding has been that the impact of ocean acidification is strongly dependent on interaction with other stressors associated with global change, notably temperature increases and we have shown that ocean acidification is having a marked effect upon ocean chemistry, most notably the nitrogen cycle and production of climate-relevant trace gases such as DMS and halocarbons.

We are also developing techniques to assess ocean acidification using satellites, which will enable monitoring on a global scale with a relatively low-cost when compared to in situ measurements.

Making a difference

Our research has raised the profile of ocean acidification and informed policy at an international level and has contributed to discussions at several major events including several UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, including providing input to the 2015 Paris agreement. At a national level, we gave extensive written and oral evidence to the recent UK parliamentary inquiry on ocean acidification.

Projects

UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme (UKOA)
Completed

UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme (UKOA)

Contact: Dr Carol Turley

The 5 year UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme (UKOA) worked alongside international partner programmes as the UK’s response to...

Mediterranean Sea Acidification in a changing climate (MedSeA)
Completed

Mediterranean Sea Acidification in a changing climate (MedSeA)

Contact: Dr Andy Rees

The MedSeA project assesses uncertainties, risks and thresholds related to the acidification of Mediterranean seas, at organismal, ecosystem and...

Sub-seabed CO2 Storage: Impact on Marine Ecosystems (ECO2)

Sub-seabed CO2 Storage: Impact on Marine Ecosystems (ECO2)

Contact: Professor Steve Widdicombe

The ECO2 project aims to establish a framework of best environmental practices to guide the management of offshore CO2 injection and storage. A...

|< <  1 2   > >|

You may be interested in...

News

Ocean acidification: yes, it’s serious

A new international report “An updated synthesis of the impacts of ocean acidification on marine biodiversity” shows beyond doubt that ocean acidification is an issue of serious environmental and policy concern.

News

PML supports $2 million XPRIZE seeking new sensors to study ocean acidification

PML has been named official supporter of the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE foundation, following the exciting announcement this week that XPRIZE will be offering a $2-million prize challenge to an innovator who can build cheaper and better pH sensors in the quest for a...

News

Microscopic marine creatures may lose teeth as ocean acidification kicks in

PML scientists meet with other top marine experts from around the globe in St Andrews, Scotland, this week to share their knowledge on the threat posed by increasing amounts of carbon dioxide entering the sea.

Related publications

  1. Yakushev, EV; Protsenko, EA; Bruggeman, J; Wallhead, P; Pakhomova, SV; Yakubov, SK; Bellerby, RGJ; Couture, R-M. 2017 Bottom RedOx Model (BROM v.1.1): a coupled benthic–pelagic model for simulation of water and sediment biogeochemistry. Geoscientific Model Development, 10 (1). 453-482. 10.5194/gmd-10-453-2017
    View publication

  2. Currie, AR; Tait, K; Parry, HE; de Francisco-Mora, B; Hicks, N; Osborn, AM; Widdicombe, S; Stahl, H. 2017 Marine Microbial Gene Abundance and Community Composition in Response to Ocean Acidification and Elevated Temperature in Two Contrasting Coastal Marine Sediments. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8. 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01599
    View publication

  3. Fernandes, JA; Papathanasopoulou, E; Hattam, C; Queiros, AM; Cheung, WWWL; Yool, A; Artioli, Y; Pope, EC; Flynn, KJ; Merino, G; Calosi, P; Beaumont, NJ; Austen, MC; Widdicombe, S; Barange, M. 2016 Estimating the ecological, economic and social impacts of ocean acidification and warming on UK fisheries. Fish and Fisheries, 18 (3). 389-411. 10.1111/faf.12183
    View publication

  4. Calosi, P; Melatunan, S; Turner, LM; Artioli, Y; Davidson, RL; Byrne, JJ; Viant, MR; Widdicombe, S; Rundle, SD. 2017 Regional adaptation defines sensitivity to future ocean acidification. Nature Communications, 8. 13994. 10.1038/ncomms13994
    View publication

  5. Magnan, A; Turley, CM; Al-Moghrabi, S; Celliers, L; Hall-Spencer, JM; Holthus, P; Isensee, K; Papathanasopoulou, E; Recuero-Virto, L. 2015 Governance, Governments and Legislation. [Invited Paper] In: Ocean Acidification Impacts on Coastal Communities, Third International Workshop on Bridging the Gap Between Ocean Acidification and Economic Valuation, Oceanographic Museum, Principality of Monaco, 12 - 14 January 2015. Gland, Switzerland, IUCN, 25-28.
    View publication

View more publications