Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean

Evidence suggests ocean acidification will have negative effects on corals, shellfish, and other marine life, with wide-ranging consequences for ecosystems, fisheries, and tourism. This report, requested by Congress, reviews the effects of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems, the chemistry of seawater, and the physiology of marine organisms. The report reviews the current state of knowledge and identifies gaps in understanding, and provides scientific advice to help guide the national ocean acidification research program.

Recommendations are outlined for a successful national ocean acidification program within the following categories: (1) monitoring, (2) research, (3) assessments and support, (4) data management, (5) facilities and training, and (6) program planning and management.

This report was developed by the National Research Council's Committee on the Development of an Integrated Science Strategy for Ocean Acidification Monitoring, Research, and Impacts Assessment. In 2006, Congress requested that the National Research Council conduct a study on ocean acidification. The Committee was formed to review the current state of knowledge and identify key gaps in information to help federal agencies develop a program to improve the understanding of and address the consequences of ocean acidification. Shortly after the study was underway, Congress passed another law - the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring (FOARAM) Act of 2009 - which calls for, among other things, the establishment of a federal ocean acidification program. This report is directed to the ongoing strategic planning process for such a program.



Publication Date: 2010

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  • Assessment
  • Policy analysis/recommendations


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