National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2010

Ocean acidification: A critical emerging problem for the ocean sciences

Doney, S.C., W.M. Balch, V.J. Fabry, and R.A. Feely

Oceanography, 22(4), 18–27, doi: 10.5670/oceanog.2009.93 (2009)

Over a period of less than a decade, ocean acidification—the change in seawater chemistry due to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and subsequent impacts on marine life—has become one of the most critical and pressing issues facing the ocean research community and marine resource managers alike. The objective of this special issue of Oceanography is to provide an overview of the current scienti!c understanding of ocean acidi!cation as well as to indicate the substantial gaps in our present knowledge. Papers in the special issue discuss the past, current, and future trends in seawater chemistry; highlight potential vulnerabilities to marine species, ecosystems, and marine resources to elevated CO2; and outline a roadmap toward future research directions. In this introductory article, we present a brief introduction on ocean acidi!cation and some historical context for how it emerged so quickly and recently as a key research topic.

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