Island looks to take a lead in 'acid oceans' research

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Bermuda could soon be at the centre of research into the acidification of the oceans, under plans being pursued by the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.

Dr. Andreas Andersson, in a joint effort with BIOS' Nick Bates and Samantha de Putron, is currently applying for funding to develop an Ocean Acidification Research Centre at the Institute.

The phenomenon of increased acidification, referred to as 'the other CO2 problem', is the result of excess carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by human activity, most significantly through burning fossil fuels.

  • <b>Supports research:</b> Dr. Anthony Knap, director of BIOS.

    Supports research: Dr. Anthony Knap, director of BIOS.


Bermuda could soon be at the centre of research into the acidification of the oceans, under plans being pursued by the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.

Dr. Andreas Andersson, in a joint effort with BIOS' Nick Bates and Samantha de Putron, is currently applying for funding to develop an Ocean Acidification Research Centre at the Institute.

The phenomenon of increased acidification, referred to as 'the other CO2 problem', is the result of excess carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by human activity, most significantly through burning fossil fuels.

Around one third of this carbon dioxide is absorbed into the ocean, which causes it to acidify, impairing the ability of many marine organisms such as corals to calcify and produce their shells and skeletons.

This could disrupt the function and balance of marine ecosystems and have severe implications for humans, threatening food supplies and the fishing industry.

Dr. Anthony Knap, President and Director at BIOS, said: "The proposed Centre is a coordinated effort based on plenty of preliminary smaller steps that we have taken over the past 26 years.

"The proposal is a concrete step in moving forward. Although it is still early we are confident that we can develop this programme into a world leader on understanding phenomenon of ocean acidification and its effects on the open ocean and coastal ecosystems including the vitally important coral reef ecosystem.

"The insights from the centre's research will enable us to better understand this serious problem, and could equip us to tackle it practically."

Dr. Andersson is the Assistant Scientist at BIOS and recently spoke at a symposium on ocean acidification convened by the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, International Atomic Energy Agency, and International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme.

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