Increased carbon emissions have warmed and acidified oceans and caused shifts in ocean current systems, threatening marine ecosystems and the people connected to them. The North Pacific Ocean in particular is expected to experience some of the largest changes in ocean conditions by 2100. Until now, little was known about how coastal processes—those oceanic processes that occur near the coast—can modify these projections.
This year, the Washington Ocean Acidification Center was selected to be included in the AGU Thought Leadership Series, which profiles the work and research of urgent environmental issues. We were selected due to the desire to spotlight centers that are “working against the clock” to alleviate ocean acidification.
It was fairly alarming, even to scientists, to hear the latest research regarding ocean acidification — a powerful change in ocean chemistry that results from excess carbon dioxide passing from the atmosphere into the oceans of the world.
Last summer, scientists met at the University of Washington to address alarming findings concerning the rapid acidification of the world’s oceans. Experts at that symposium warned that wildlife in the Salish Sea, from salmon to shellfish, may start to see significant effects from changing water chemistry within the next 10 to 20 years.
At the helm of EarthLab’s Washington Ocean Acidification Center are two experienced ocean scientists, but what they are trying to do is something entirely new. Terrie Klinger and Jan Newton are Salish Sea experts – one an ecologist, one an oceanographer – and they are addressing one of the biggest emerging threats to our environment today, ocean acidification.
The Washington Ocean Acidification Center will convene its Third Biennial Science Symposium on Thursday, May 30 at the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle, WA. This day-long symposium will consist of invited presentations from regional experts.
Most of us rely on the weather forecast to choose our outfit or make outdoor plans for the weekend. But conditions underwater can also be useful to know in advance, especially if you’re an oyster farmer, a fisher or even a recreational diver.
Washington Ocean Acidification Center co-director Terrie Klinger talks to King 5’s Alison Morrow about ocean acidification and its effect on our region.
For people who make their living connected to nature, a favorable environment is critical. For farmers, that means having enough rain to bring a crop to harvest. For ski resort operators, that means having enough snow for a robust ski season.
The productive ocean off Washington state’s Olympic Coast supports an abundant web of life including kelp forests, fish, shellfish, seabirds and marine mammals. The harvest and use of these treaty-protected marine resources have been central to the local tribes’ livelihoods, food security and cultural practices for thousands of years.