Although ocean acidification and hypoxia are global phenomena, the US-Canada West Coast will face some of the most severe changes, with impacts extending through marine food webs and threatening ocean-dependent industries and coastal communities.
So says a report released today by a panel of 20 scientific experts from Oregon, California, Washington and British Columbia charged with summarizing what’s known about the problem and what options the region has for coping with it.
- Acidification and hypoxia will have severe environmental, ecological and economic consequences for the West Coast, and will require a concerted regional focus.
- Global carbon emissions are the dominant cause of acidification
- There are actions that can be taken to lessen exposure to acidification, and to enhance the ability of ecosystems and organisms to cope.
- Investing in acidification science will expand the available management options.
- Inaction now will reduce those options and impose higher costs later.
Among the panelists are Oregon State University researchers Frances Chan, who co-chaired the group, George Waldbusser, Burke Hales and Jack Barth, all of whom have received research funding support from Oregon Sea Grant.
The panel’s report provides a comprehensive analysis, along with technical guidance for ocean program managers and a summary of foundational science about how acidification and hypoxia affect individual species, populations and ecosystems, the science needs of managers and challenges and opportunities in the realm of water quality.
- For more information about the panel and its products, visit www.westcoastoah.org