Options for Adapting to ocean acidification: U.S. Perspective

Chair: Jessica Ericson

Jewett, Elizabeth B.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Ocean Acidification Program

Given that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will likely not start dropping for decades, it is imperative that state and federal coastal resource managers develop strategies for coping with increasingly corrosive waters as marine ecosystems are compromised. These options are currently limited but might be expanded with concerted effort as the science develops. The current options range from devising biological methods to extract excess carbon dioxide from waters (planting seaweeds, seagrasses or other primary producers) to reducing nutrient enrichment which fosters high levels of biological respiration, leading to low oxygen and additional carbon dioxide, to enhancing other aspects of water quality under local control in an effort to build overall system resilience. NOAA is considering how to support novel adaptation strategies in light of rapidly evolving scientific understanding of biological responses. Monitoring and, eventually, forecasting the changing chemistry and related biological impacts are also important components for developing an appropriate response. This session will describe the range of adaptation options being considered and tested in the U.S. and globally.