EGU Topical Conference Series
7th Alexander von Humboldt International Conference
Ocean acidification: consequences for marine ecosystems and society
Penang | Malaysia | 20 – 24 June 2011


Ocean acidification is already occurring today and will continue to intensify, closely tracking global CO2 emissions. Given the potential threat to marine ecosystems and its ensuing impact on human society and economy, especially as it acts in conjunction with ocean warming, there is an urgent need for immediate action. This "double trouble" is arguably the most critical environmental issue that humans will have to face in the immediate future. The impacts of ocean acidification will be global in scope yet are some of the least understood of all climate change phenomena. Given that chemical effects are already measurable and that biological impacts may be dramatic within only decades, we must now accept the challenge to better coordinate and stimulate its research on ocean acidification. Such challenge is fundamental if we are to fully understand the consequences of and eventually help mitigate ocean acidification, which along with climate change might turn out to be the most crucial environmental problem and socio-economic challenge of the century.

Understanding the risks and consequences of OA and recognising that both OA and global warming are caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions will hopefully help to set in motion a stringent climate policy worldwide. The only solution to neutralize OA and global warming is long-term mitigation strategy to limit future release of CO2 to the atmosphere and/or enhance removal of excess CO2 from the atmosphere.