Ocean Acidification

The ocean chemistry of the seawater is rapidly changing in a process known as ocean acidification.  These changes in seawater chemistry affect animal growth, survival and behavior, and they are depleting the ocean of calcium carbonate, a nutrient vital for shellfish to build shells.  Marine organisms with calcium carbonate shells or skeletons – such as corals, oysters, clams, and mussels – can be affected by small changes in acidity.  That’s important, because shelled organisms are essential throughout the marine food chain.  They are also vital to our economy, as shellfish hatcheries on the brink of collapse just a few years ago, struggle to adapt.

For more information about ocean acidification, please visit NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program (OAP).

IOOS’ Ocean Technology Transition Project, in collaboration with NOAA OAP, has supported the projects to improve ocean acidification observations and research:


Pacific Ocean Acidification Project


Turning the Headlights On High: Improving an Ocean Acidification Observation System in Support of Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers


Tracking Ocean Alkalinity using New Carbon Measurement Technologies (TAACT)

For more information about IOOS’ Ocean Technology Transition Project, please contact Jenifer Rhoades, Project Manager.



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