Intertwined ocean and climate: implications for international climate negotiations

Key Messages: Climate and ocean are inseparable: the ocean moderates anthropogenic climate change by absorbing significant proportions of the heat and CO2 that accumulate in the atmosphere, as well as by receiving all water from melting ice. This climate-regulating function happens at the cost of profound alterations of the ocean’s physics and chemistry, leading to ocean warming and acidification, as well as to sea level rise. These changes significantly affect the ocean’s ecology (organisms and ecosystems) and eventually marine and coastal human activities (fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, health…). As atmospheric CO2 increases, possible human responses become fewer and less effective. This […]

Ocean acidification: de-gassing the myths

Ocean acidification is increasingly a term used by scientists, and reported in the media, as one of the big issues of concern for our planet: “the evil twin of climate change” or “the other CO2 problem”. The oceans natural ability to take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is in itself an incredibly important and useful Earth System process, yet the rate of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere is resulting in unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry. The complexity of the oceans buffering capacity, terms such as alkalinity and pH, and the often poorly communicated scientific findings often leads to […]