The Pacific coast of North America is becoming more acidic as human-produced carbon dioxide emissions dissolve into the water and communities from B.C. to California must take action now to offset changes that are already affecting West Coast marine life, say leading ocean scientists.
The panel of 20 scientists from B.C., California, Oregon and Washington have spent three years studying changes in ocean chemistry along the West Coast and a report released Monday says regional strategies are urgently needed to combat changes that are coming and, where possible, reduce the impacts.
“Ocean acidification is a global problem that is having a disproportionate impact on productive West Coast ecosystems,” Francis Chan, an Oregon State University marine ecologist, said. Chan is the co-chair of the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science panel.
“There has been an attitude that there is not much we can do about this locally, but that just isn’t true. A lot of the solutions will come locally and through coordinated regional efforts,” he said.
New analysis shows that the science underpinning the global treaty aiming to stop average temperatures rising more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels urgently needs more research,...