Ocean acidification

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Howard, WR, Nash, M, Anthony, K, Schmutter, K, Bostock, H, Broomhead, D, Byrne, M, Currie, K, Diaz-Pulido, G, Eggins, S, Ellwood, M, Eyre, B, Haese, R, Hallegraeff, G, Hill, K, Hurd, C, Law, C, Lenton, A, Matear, R, McNeil, B, McCulloch, M, Muller, MN, Munday, P, Opdyke, B, Pandolfi, JM, Richards, R, Roberts, D, Russell, BD, Smith, AM, Tilbrook, B, Waite, A & Williamson, J 2012, 'Ocean acidification', in ES Poloczanska, AJ Hobday & AJ Richardson (eds), Marine Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Responses 2012 Report Card, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Brisbane, Qld., pp. 113-150. ISBN: 9780643109285

Available on Open Access


Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration is causing increased absorption of CO2 by the world’s oceans, in turn driving a decline in seawater pH and changes in ocean carbonate chemistry that are collectively referred to as ocean acidification. Evidence is accumulating to suggest ocean acidification may directly or indirectly affect many marine organisms and ecosystems, some of which may also hold significant social and economic value to the Australian community. This report card aims to provide a brief overview of the current state of scientific knowledge regarding the process of ocean acidification; current and future projected levels of ocean acidification; and, observed and projected impacts of current and future predicted levels of ocean acidification on marine organisms and ecosystems in the region. This Report Card also briefly discusses potential social and economic implications, policy challenges, and the key knowledge gaps needing to be addressed.