Oceans have helped buffer the worst effects of human-caused climate change. Acting like a sponge, the ocean has absorbed over 90% of the heat resulting from global warming, and approximately one third of all carbon dioxide emissions; however this has not been without consequence to the ocean and it’s inhabitants. When carbon dioxide is absorbed into seawater, a series of chemical reactions occur, reducing the pH of the water and causing a phenomenon called ocean acidification. While the ocean is becoming more acidic across the globe, the west coast of the United States is acidifying rapidly, threatening commercially and culturally important species.
In this talk, I will introduce the oceanography of the California coast, and why ocean acidification poses such a threat in our ocean backyard. I will also discuss how computer models that simulate the ocean environment are providing a new, detailed perspective on the threats marine ecosystems may face due to climate change.
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Speaker: Julia Cheresh, UC Santa Cruz
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