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OSPAR report on ocean acidification released

17 April 2023

The report has been supported by three ocean acidification experts from Plymouth Marine Laboratory.
North Atlantic coast

The OSPAR report on ocean acidification has been published today on the OSPAR website.  

The report is a key policy document for the North Atlantic and Arctic region, and forms part of the OSPAR Quality Status Report. 

Three ocean acidification experts from PML have contributed to the report; including our Director of Science Professor Steve Widdicombe, Biological Oceanographer Dr Helen Findlay, and Marine Ecosystems Modeller Dr Yuri Artioli

Professor Widdicombe commented: 

“This is a detailed and hard-hitting report from OSPAR on the state and trends of ocean acidification in the North Atlantic and Arctic regions. The data from coastal areas is particularly worrying - pH is declining at faster rates in the shallow coastal regions than observed in the open oceans.” 

“Why is this? Well, coastal and shelf seas are significantly more complex in terms of physicochemical conditions than the open ocean, due to the interaction of multiple drivers; such as freshwater from rivers, wastewaters, mixing, upwelling, biological processes, and sediment interactions." 

“The current conditions have created a perfect storm for acidity. And, considering coastal regions are where we humans interact most with the ocean, we must anticipate the effects.” 

Read the OSPAR report on ocean acidification here >> 

Related information

Professor Widdicombe is also co-chair of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) Executive Council, while Dr Findlay and Dr Artioli are both members of the Executive Council for GOA-ON and coordinators for the North-East Atlantic Ocean Acidification (NEA-OA) regional hub of GOA-ON.  

Publication: "Unifying biological field observations to detect and compare ocean acidification impacts across marine species and ecosystems: What to monitor and why

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