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Ocean acidification at the ‘Planet under Pressure’ conference

20 March 2012

Planet under PressureUKOA is part of a team co-convening an important session at the ‘Planet under Pressure’ conference which will review the pressure planet Earth is under, and discuss solutions at all scales to move societies on to a sustainable pathway. The conference is taking place in London, 26-29 March 2012 and is expected to attract over 2500 participants representing global-change science, policy, business and development communities. The outcomes from the meeting will provide scientific and policy guidance towards the 2012 UN Rio+20 conference.

Covering more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and containing in excess of 90% of its living space the world ocean is the main driving force for life on our planet, it provides us with food, energy, minerals and nearly half of the oxygen we breathe. However, human activity is having an impact on this precious resource and ocean health is set to become increasingly stressed over the coming decades, such as through ocean acidification which is a direct and far-reaching consequence of increased carbon dioxide emissions.

‘Ocean acidification: ecological impacts and societal implications’ is co-convened by: Dr Phil Williamson, UKOA/NERC/University of East Anglia; Dr Carol Turley, UKOA/Plymouth Marine Laboratory; Dr Sarah Cooley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Professor Richard Feely, NOAA; and Dr Nafees Meah, UK Department of Energy & Climate Change. It is to be chaired by Dr Nafees Meah of the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change and will focus on the impacts and implications of CO2-driven changes in ocean chemistry for organisms, ecosystems, human society and policy. In addition to four expert overview presentations on those topics, the session includes a short film and a panel discussion, the programme for ‘Ocean acidification: ecological impacts and societal implications’ is:

  • Ocean acidification: connecting science, policy, industry and public; short film presented by Dr. C. Turley, UKOA/Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK
  • Will souring oceans sweeten future sustainable development policy?; by Dr. C. Turley, UKOA/Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK & Prof. W.W. Wright, IOC-UNESCO, Paris
  • Assessing physiological tipping points in response to ocean acidification; by Dr. S.T. Dupont; Ms. N. Dorey; Ms. P. Lançon; Prof. M.S. Thorndyke; University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Ocean acidification's implications for human communities; by Dr. S.R. Cooley; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA
  • Is a new multilateral environmental agreement on ocean acidification necessary?; by Mr. R. Kim; Australian National University, Australia

The session takes place on the first day of the conference, on Monday 26 March at 2pm.

There will also be an exhibition stand on ocean acidification at the conference, presented by Plymouth Marine Laboratory in partnership with UKOA, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, OCEANA, the German programme Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification (BIOACID), and the EU programmes Mediterranean Sea Acidification in a Changing Climate (MedSeA) and European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA). Copies of the publication ‘Hot, sour and breathless – Ocean under stress’, which summarises the multiple climatic related stressors of ocean acidification, warming and deoxygenation on the ocean (, will be available. Dr Carol Turley will be on hand to answer questions and talk to the press and media.