New directions in ocean attribution science – tying acidification and other changes to specific emission sources

Rachel Licker, Union of Concerned Scientists Washington DC, Washington, DC, United States, Brenda Ekwurzel, Union of Concerned Scientists, Washington, DC, United States, Scott Doney, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, United States, Sarah R Cooley, Ocean Conservancy Inc., Washington, DC, United States, Ivan D Lima, Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst, Woods Hole, MA, United States, Richard Heede, Climate Mitigation Partners, Snowmass, CO, United States and Peter C Frumhoff, Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, MA, United States
Abstract:
Recent research has quantified the contributions of CO2 and CH4 emissions traced to the products of major fossil fuel companies and cement manufacturers to global atmospheric CO2, surface temperature, sea level rise, and most recently, ocean acidification. This talk will review the results of a new analysis in which the emissions traced to the 88 largest industrial carbon producers were analyzed using an energy balance carbon-cycle model. As ocean acidification is not spatially uniform, we further utilized a 3-dimensional ocean model to identify regions with large declines in surface water pH and aragonite saturation state. We characterize the biological and socioeconomic systems in these regions facing loss and damage from ocean acidification in the context of climate change and other stressors. With this, we offer a framework within which attribution research, including that which ties impacts to more specific sources, can be conducted at a regional scale. Such research could help empower regions dependent on marine resources to better understand the risks they face, as well as their nature and causes.