THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
National Research Council
Division on Earth and Life Studies
Ocean Studies Board
Committee on the Development of an Integrated Science Strategy for Ocean Acidification
Monitoring, Research, and Impacts Assessment
A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean
The ocean has absorbed a significant portion of all human-made carbon dioxide emissions. This benefits human society by moderating the rate of climate change, but also causes unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry. Carbon dioxide taken up by the ocean decreases the pH of the water and leads to a suite of chemical changes collectively known as ocean acidification. The long term consequences of ocean acidification are not known, but are expected to result in changes to many ecosystems and the services they provide to society.
Requested by Congress in P.L. 109-479 and P.L. 110-161, a new National Academies’ report, Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean reviews the current state of knowledge, explores gaps in understanding, and identifies several key findings.
This briefing was for members of Congress and congressional staff only. The report was publicly released on June 18, 2010 and can be found, in its entirety, on the Web site of the National Academies Press.