> Oceanography > Issues > Archive > Volume 22, Number 4

2009, Oceanography 22(4):182–189, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.107

Research Priorities for Understanding Ocean Acidification: Summary From the Second Symposium on the Ocean
in a High-CO2 World

Authors | Abstract | Full Article | Citation


James C. Orr | Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA), Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, CEA Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France

Ken Caldeira | Carnegie Institution Department of Global Ecology, Stanford, CA, USA

Victoria Fabry | Department of Biological Sciences, California State University at San Marcos, San Marcos, CA, USA

Jean-Pierre Gattuso | Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Laboratoire d'Océanographie, CNRS, and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Villefranche-sur-mer, France

Peter Haugan | Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

Patrick Lehodey | Ecosystem Modeling, CLS, Space Oceanography Division, Ramonville, France

Silvio Pantoja | Department of Oceanography and COPAS Center, University of Concepción, Concepción, Chile

Hans-Otto Pörtner | Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany

Ulf Riebesell | Biological Oceanography, Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR), Kiel, Germany

Tom Trull | University of Tasmania and CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Ed Urban | Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA

Maria Hood | International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, Paris, France

Wendy Broadgate | Natural Sciences, International Geosphere–Biosphere Programme, Stockholm, Sweden



The first symposium on "The Ocean in a High-CO2 World" in 2004 proved to be a landmark event in our understanding of the seriousness of ocean acidification, as reported in Oceanography (Cicerone et al., 2004). The scientific community reunited in 2008 for a second symposium on "The Ocean in a High-CO2 World." During the four years between the two symposia, more scientific papers were published on the topic of ocean acidification than during the preceding 55 years. Ocean acidification is now widely cited in the press and is familiar to many nonscientists. Participants at the 2008 symposium identified new research priorities and stressed the importance of improving international coordination to facilitate agreements on protocols, methods, and data reporting in order to optimize limited resources by greater sharing of materials, facilities, expertise, and data. Despite major uncertainties, the research community must find ways to scale up understanding of individual organisms' responses to provide meaningful predictions of ocean acidification's effects on food webs, fisheries, marine ecosystems, coastal erosion, and tourism. Easy-to-understand information, such as simple indicators of change and of thresholds beyond which marine ecosystems will not recover, is also needed for management and policymaking.


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Orr, J.C., K. Caldeira, V. Fabry, J.-P. Gattuso, P. Haugan, P. Lehodey, S. Pantoja, H.-O. Pörtner, U. Riebesell, T. Trull, E. Urban, M. Hood, and W. Broadgate. 2009. Research priorities for understanding ocean acidificat ion: Summary from the Second Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World. Oceanography 22(4):182–189, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.107.