ocean acidification | KNKX

ocean acidification

Nick Dubitzky (L) and farm manager Charlie Delius display the current crop of kelp at Hood Canal Mariculture during a growers workshop Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2020..
Washington Sea Grant

As seaweeds grow in the ocean, they naturally pull carbon dioxide from the water for photosynthesis, much as trees pull CO2 from the air. Many people in western Washington see an opportunity in that.

A school of juvenile coho salmon.
Alaska Sea Grant / Courtesy University of Washington News and Information.

It’s long been known that shellfish and other marine life are sensitive to ocean acidification caused by increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Some fish lose their sense of smell in acidic waters. There was a hope that salmon would not be affected. A new study shows otherwise.  

Ted S. Warren/file / AP Photo

It’s been five years since Washington first launched a strategy to tackle ocean acidification. A new report from the state says it’s still getting worse, but advances are being made on how to adapt and mitigate the problem.

Ted S. Warren, File / AP Photo

It’s sometimes called the evil twin of global warming. Ocean acidification happens when carbon pollution from the sky is absorbed by the water. Washington state has been a leader in addressing the issue locally. 

And now the state has joined a new international alliance to fight ocean acidification on a global scale.  

Washington state began addressing the problem of ocean acidification in earnest back in 2011, when then-Governor Christine Gregoire appointed a blue-ribbon panel on the issue. 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The University of Washington held its first annual symposium on environmental law last week. The idea is to choose a topic and examine how it fits into current and future regulations. This year’s focus—ocean acidification. 

Bellamy Pailthorp

Federal scientists and their supporters are seeking increased funding to monitor ocean acidification in an effort to gather additional environmental intelligence.

U.S Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and fellow Democrat Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska toured a lab in Seattle Monday to see the latest technology and highlight their hopes of making ocean acidification monitoring a national priority. 

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

U.S. senators pulled an all-nighter Monday night to call attention to climate change. Democrats Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Barbara Boxer of California led the effort to shine light on the need for more curbs on carbon emissions.

Sen. Maria Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray were both present for the event. Cantwell took the floor early Tuesday morning following more than 12 hours of testimony. She said the issue isn’t about the future; it’s about negative effects that industries here are already seeing.

Courtesy of Washington Sea Grant

Garfield High School students will put their smarts to the test to defend their title at the annual Orca Bowl at the University of Washington this weekend.

In a competition that slightly resembles the TV game show “Jeopardy,” 20 teams from around the state will try to answer multiple-choice questions about marine sciences, many of them specifically geared toward this year's theme of ocean acidification. Then finalists from Ocean Science Bowls around the country will meet again in May to vie for the national title. This year, it's taking place for the first time in Seattle.

Bellamy Pailthorp photo / KPLU News

Ocean health is at stake as Congress decides whether to confirm the next head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The nominee faced tough questions from Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, about funding for research of and adaptation to ocean acidification.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU News

SEATTLE (AP) — Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed an executive order directing state officials to work on the problem of ocean acidification.

Photo courtesy of Washington State Dept. of Ecology

Carbon emissions are threatening Washington’s shellfish industry. That’s the concern of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, which meets today in Seattle.

AP/Lou Dematteis-SpectralQ

The focus of attention at the U.N. climate summit in Cancun, Mexico is global warming caused by too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But there’s another impact of high carbon levels that poses a whole different set of problems: it makes the ocean more acidic.