» Ocean acidification – what to measure and what to report?
11.06.2018 - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

Ocean acidification – what to measure and what to report?

© UNESCO/IOC - Beach in Sopot, Poland.

In view of the growing urgency and recognition of ocean acidification as one of the major stressors for the marine environment, improved observation and research are needed to help scientists and governments in implementing related mitigation and adaption measures. Leading experts from the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) Executive Council met in Sopot, Poland for their 5th Annual Meeting from 28 to 30 May 2018, supported by the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).

During the meeting, the methodology for the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target indicator 14.3.1, “average marine acidity measured at an agreed suite of representative sampling stations” – of which IOC is the custodian agency – was discussed and finalised.

This methodology provides detailed guidance to scientists and countries in terms of how to carry out measurements following the best practices established by the ocean acidification community, as well as how to report the collected information in a manner that ensures it is transparent, traceable and can be utilised in a global comparison of pH measurements. In this way, GOA-ON expertise directly contributes to the achievement of SDG Target 14.3, which calls to “minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels”.

Additionally, the GOA-ON Executive Council discussed capacity building workshops – which are being held worldwide as part of its UN Ocean Conference voluntary commitment (#OceanAction16542) to increase global ocean acidification observing capacity – received updates from the regional hubs and their activities and welcomed the new GOA-ON Secretariat.

The Secretariat, whose members are distributed between the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Washington, D.C., the University of Washington in Seattle, the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) of IAEA in Monaco, as well as the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO in Paris, will support GOA-ON efforts by facilitating communication between all members and beyond.

For more information, please contact:

Kirsten Isensee (k.isensee(at)unesco.org)

Katherina Schoo (k.schoo(at)unesco.org)




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