ICES Annual Science Conference 2015

Theme Session H

Ocean acidification: Understanding chemical, biological and biochemical responses in marine ecosystems
(Co-sponsored by PICES)

Silvana Birchenough (UK)
Pamela Walsham (UK)
Klaas Kaag (the Netherlands)
Tsuneo Ono (PICES)

​​​Contact conveners​

​​​The ocean is the largest natural reservoir of dissolved carbon and holds an immense buffering capacity for changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Due to the rapid increase of atmospheric CO2 since the industrial revolution, oceans and seas are absorbing increasingly greater amounts of CO2. This process disturbs the chemical equilibrium of the sea's carbon cycle, resulting in seas becoming more acidic. Ocean acidification is likely to have serious consequences for ecosystems and the services they provide over this century. The expectation is that ocean acidification may trigger a chain reaction of impacts through the marine food web that will affect ecological, biogeochemical, and socio-economic values globally.

Ocean acidification and climate change are linked as both stem from increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. However, ocean acidification must be distinguished from climate change, as it is not a climatic process.  

Ocean acidification research has indicated that while some species will be negatively affected, others will benefit from the changes that are the result of more acidic conditions.

Although it is certain that the pH in the world's oceans is decreasing at a high rate, research into the long-term effects of acidification on ecosystems and the influence on the ocean's buffering capacity is still in its infancy and further research is needed to understand the real impacts and how these will affect societies.

This session welcomes all papers that relate to the projected decrease in efficiency of the ocean carbon pump and the consequences for organisms, ecosystems, and the society perspective.

We welcome papers on the following topics:

  • monitoring perspectives on ocean acidification including potential approaches to monitor effects
  • changes in ocean chemistry
  • modelling approaches to understand ocean acidification effects
  • experimental approaches (in situ and under laboratory conditions)
  • ecosystems sensitivity/resilience
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Theme Session H

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