PMEL Senior Scientist, Dr. Richard Feely, served on a panel with other expert scientists to help west coast decision-makers manage and adapt to changing environmental conditions. Ocean acidification and hypoxia, low dissolved oxygen, are two coastal ocean phenomena that threaten the health of marine ecosystems and marine organisms. Each can also have profound impacts on coastal economies and culturally important resources, such as fish and shellfish. The US West Coast and British Columbia will face some of the earliest, most severe impacts and expansion of hypoxic zones, due to climate change, and the acidification of ocean waters resulting due to the absorption of human-derived carbon dioxide emissions.
The connection between these two phenomena is addressed in the Science Panel’s report released April 4th. The report summarizes the latest scientific literature and presents management options to reduce stresses on marine ecosystems and enhance the ability of organisms to cope with changing conditions. Leaders in coastal regions can use this as a model on how to develop science-based strategies for reducing the threat of changing ocean conditions.