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WHOI to Host Public Event on Ocean Acidification

August 2, 2012

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will host a public forum on ocean acidification and its effects on ocean life.  Ocean acidification is a global problem that results from the increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere primarily from burning fossil fuels. Excess CO2 in the air dissolves in seawater and is converted to corrosive carbonic acid that puts the lives of many marine organisms at risk.

“What we do on land—agriculture, fossil fuel combustion and pollution—can have a profound impact on the chemistry of the sea,” said Scott C. Doney, a senior scientist in the WHOI Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry department.  “Human impacts are not isolated to coastal waters. They’re seen around the globe.”

“Ocean’s Acid Test: Consequences of Rising CO2 Emissions for Life in Our Ocean” will be held on Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. in Redfield Auditorium. A science expo from 6-9 p.m. outside the auditorium will feature hands-on activities and displays to help explain ocean acidification and what is being done to understand it and mitigate its impacts.

A panel discussion with Q&A from 7 to 8 p.m. begins with featured keynote talks by WHOI scientists:


Scott Doney, Marine Chemist

“An Overview of Ocean Acidification”


Sarah Cooley, Marine Chemist

“The Human Face of Ocean Acidification”


Anne Cohen, Biogeochemist

“Ocean Acidification: Can Coral Reefs be Saved?”

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, independent organization in Falmouth, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the oceans and their interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the oceans’ role in the changing global environment.