National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

[Full Text]

FY 2010

Ocean Acidification—The Facts: A special introductory guide for policy advisers and decision makers

Bijma, J., S. Cooley, S. Doney, R.A. Feely, J.-P. Gattuso, W. Howard, U. Riebesell, D. Roberts, C. Turley, and E. Urban

Ocean Acidification Reference Users Group and European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA), 12 pp (2009)

There is a clear consensus from the many scientific statements that are now being made about ocean acidification, that rapid, unprecedented changes are occurring. This introductory guide is written especially for policy advisers and decision makers worldwide and is a wake-up call about the double impact on our seas of climate change and ocean acidification caused by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. It sets out the basic facts about the alarming and progressive acidification of the ocean that is threatening our marine ecosystems. The Earth's geological record shows that previous episodes of ocean acidification were linked to mass extinctions of some species, and it is reasonable to assume that this episode could have the same consequences. There can be little doubt that the ocean is undergoing dramatic changes that will impact many human lives now and in the coming generations, unless we act quickly and decisively.

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