Graduation Year

Fall 2010

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Reader 1

J. Emil Morhardt


As human activities continue to generate accelerating levels of carbon dioxide emissions, the world’s oceanic resources are threatened by variability in seawater chemistry, known as ocean acidification. Recent increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide have resulted in decreased carbonate ion concentrations and ocean pH levels, leading to increasingly acidic waters. The exact consequences of these chemical changes on ecosystems and individual species are difficult to predict; however, research has shown that economically valuable calcifying species will experience reduced reproductive fitness and population declines. Ocean acidification, therefore, poses an immediate risk to both fish stocks and fishery industries. From a local perspective, individual regions will need to implement dynamic management strategies to prepare for anticipated economic consequences. In a global context, international cooperation is required for further research and collaborative efforts must be made to reduce future acidification.