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Ocean Acidification: Managing the Marine Impacts of Climate Change


June 23, 2010


Washington, DC

Climate change is affecting the biogeochemistry of the ocean. The ocean serves as a sink for large quantities of atmospheric carbon dioxide, but this ecosystem service comes at a price: the dissolution of carbon dioxide acidifies seawater, which affects the ability of marine organisms to form calcareous shells and skeletons. Efforts to manage both the causes and effects of acidification are beginning. For example, the Center for Biological Diversity and Environmental Protection Agency recently reached a settlement on using the Clean Water Act to address ocean acidification. This is one of the tools that may help ocean and coastal managers respond to the potentially devastating impacts of climate change on the marine environment.

Panelists representing the scientific, nongovernmental, federal, and regulated communities addressed the litigation, legislation, and research being undertaken and developed to address these changing ocean conditions:

James Walpole, Chairman, DC Bar Ocean and Marine Resources Committee (EENR)

Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair for Marine Science, Smithsonian Institution
William Snape, Senior Counsel, Center for Biological Diversity
Dr. Susan Roberts, Director, Ocean Studies Board, National Research Council
Christine Ruf, Senior Policy Analyst, Watersheds Branch, US Environmental Protection Agency

Panelists' Presentations:
Nancy Knowlton's presentation: The Science of Ocean Acidification
Susan Robert's presentation: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean
Christine Ruf's presentation: Ocean Acidification and 303(d) Program

Handouts Provided:
Doney et al: Footprint on Biogeochemistry (Science 2010)
News- Acidification (Science 2010)

Audio Recording:
Click here to download an MP3 recording of the seminar

Event Summary:
Click here to download a written summary of the seminar

The Ocean Seminar Series 2010 is made possible by generous support from the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation.