NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Observing Network: Assessing U.S. Vulnerability to Ocean Acidification

Erica Hudson Ombres and Dwight K Gledhill, NOAA, Ocean Acidification Program, Silver Spring, United States
In fulfillment of the 2009 Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring (FOARAM) Act, NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) works to better prepare society to respond to ocean acidification by fostering interdisciplinary research, monitoring, forecasting, and community outreach engaged through both national and international partnerships. Businesses and Policymakers increasingly require an improved understanding of how both long-term ocean acidification (OA) and episodic acidification events are impacting the nation’s blue economy (e.g., commercial fishing, shellfish harvesting, aquaculture, seafood distributors, coral reef management, oyster restoration efforts). These groups need objective information to help them prepare and respond to continued OA. OAP oversees a transdisciplinary research portfolio uniting chemists, biologists and oceanographers in improving our understanding of how the ocean’s chemical environment is changes, which marine species may prove sensitive to such changes, and where the nation’s blue economy may prove vulnerable as a result. Sensitivity studies are carried out at NOAA’s Fishery Sciences Centers of the National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS), ‘wet’ labs of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), and through coral reef monitoring within the National Ocean Service (NOS). To date, the program has studied a range of taxa including phytoplankton, mollusks, crustaceans, and fish. These experiments are informed by an extensive observing network including a number of long term time series stations comprised of fixed time-series moorings, underway autonomous systems, and targeted geochemical surveys throughout the US coastal large marine ecosystems. This poster describes the current NOAA OA observing network and how the observing informs the experimental studies, bioeconomic and geochemical modeling, and data synthesis efforts.