Ocean Action Hub
[ SDG Target 14.3 ] Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels.
 

Definition

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are rising as a result of human activities, such as fossil fuel burning, and are increasing the acidity of seawater. This process is known as ocean acidification. Historically, the ocean has absorbed approximately 30% of all CO2 released into the atmosphere by humans since the start of the industrial revolution, resulting in a 26% increase in the acidity of the ocean (average global decrease in ocean pH of about 0.1 unit).

Ocean acidification makes it more difficult for the numerous organisms that fix calcium carbonate in their skeletons and shells to do so, and can also impact metabolic and reproductive processes in many marine species. By impacting marine ecosystems at multiple levels, it has significant potential to affect food security and livelihoods that depend upon healthy marine ecosystems. The economic impact of ocean acidification could be substantial.

Reducing CO2 emissions is the only way to minimize long-term, large-scale risks from ocean acidification (IGBP, IOC, SCOR, 2013, p. 1).

Latest

24 Oct 2019 - Ocean acidification can cause the mass extinction of marine life, fossil evidence from 66m years ago has revealed.

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18 Oct 2019 - But as the climate warms, reefs need protection from threats such as overfishing and pollution.

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25 Sept 2019 - Growing coastal flooding is inevitable, and damage to corals and other marine life has already been unleashed. But scientists say the world still has time to avert even more severe consequences.

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23 Sept 2019 - There is now overwhelming scientific evidence that the ocean can be a potent force in stabilizing the climate and building a secure future for everyone.

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17 Sept 2019 - The fate of the world's coral reefs could depend on how well the sea creatures equip their offspring to cope with global warming.

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12 Sept 2019 - TIME - Peter Thomson, U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean - The ocean’s health is in trouble. 

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27 Aug 2019 - The oceans act as a carbon sink and have already absorbed more than 40% of anthropogenic carbon emissions.

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22 Aug 2019 - Recent research shows that some of these corals are migrating to cooler subtropical seas, offering a measure of hope that these ecosystems can survive the existential threat of climate change.

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21 Aug 2019 - While the world’s oceans contain some 200,000 identified living species, the actual numbers could reach the millions ­­– all exposed to the dangers of climate change, polluti

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12 Aug 2019 - Saving reefs will require combining local and global efforts.

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22 Jul 2019 - SDG Knowledge Hub - The Assembly recognized the Commission’s progress in developing accepted methodologies for measuring SDG target 14.3 on ocean acidification and SDG target

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2 Jul 2019 - New Ocean Observing System report card shows need for more sustained ocean observations of climate change impact.

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