Ocean Action Hub

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

On 8 June every year, World Oceans Day provides a unique opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve our world’s shared ocean. Register your event here.
Event Date:
08/06/2019 - 08:00 to 20:00
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22 Feb 2019 - IISD - Signatories to the Brussels Declaration on the ocean and climate change commit to continue developing, by 2020, an international legally binding instrument under the U

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18 Feb 2019 - “The ocean is under threat from pollution and plastics, from overfishing and habitat loss, from acidification, which threatens all life on Earth.” - Cody Simpson, UNDP Ocean Advocate

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7 Feb 2019 - IOC-UNESCO reports that the indicator methodology on how to conduct ocean acidification observation has been developed and trainings have begun on how to apply the methodology.

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17 Jan 2019 - The ocean soaks up 93 percent of the heat of climate change. But that heat has a big and long-lasting impact.

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11 Jan 2019 - NYTimes - Scientists say the world’s oceans are warming far more quickly than previously thought, a finding with dire implications for climate change.

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26 Dec 2018 - A warming world is profoundly changing human culture and history—and it may just be the beginning.

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11 Dec 2018 - In his keynote address, Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, said the second UN Ocean Conference in 2020 should focus on action and funding needed to address risks to the ocean as they relate to climate change.

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10 Dec 2018 - How can new and scaled up investments in coastal areas build the resilience of countries and communities and increase their capacity to cope with climate change?

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19 Nov 2018The Lab has opened its call for proposals for the 2019 cycle, seeking innovative financial ideas that can unlock investment to tackle some of the most difficult climate and sustainable development challenges.

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30 Oct 2018 - The EU made 23 new commitments, representing €300 million for the blue economy; climate change impacts; marine pollution; marine protection and sustainable fisheries.

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11 Oct 2018 - A new study examines how renewable energy, marine protected areas, carbon storage in marine plants, and other ocean-based solutions could help combat climate change and its effects on marine ecosystems.

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