Report of The Joint OSPAR/ICES Study Group on Ocean Acidification (SGOA)
The Joint OSPAR/ICES Study Group on Ocean Acidification (SGOA) held its first meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark from 11–14 December 2012. The meeting was hosted by the ICES Secretariat. The meeting was co-chaired by Evin McGovern (Ire-land) and Mark Benfield (USA) and was attended by 18 scientists representing eight nations. Two of the members participated via WebEx conference. The main objective of the meeting was to discuss and address the Study Group’s eight terms of reference (ToRs).
The meeting consisted of formal presentations and discussions of each ToR docu-mented by a rapporteur and summarized in this report. Summaries of national and international monitoring programmes on ocean acidification (OA) were provided by the membership. It is clear that there are many OA-relevant chemical data collection activities ongoing in the OSPAR area, albeit, this is still an incomplete picture as many OSPAR Contracting Parties were not represented at SGOA. Data collection is often linked to other monitoring and research activities or as part of large-scale re-search projects. These are typically short- to medium-term projects and there are few commitments to long-term ongoing monitoring. Monitoring of the biological impacts of OA is still in its infancy and not routinely undertaken.
SGOA summarized the likely main effects of future OA on different groups of marine organisms likely present in the OSPAR region. There has been a rapid increase in research into potential biological impacts of OA, including responses to multiple stressors such as combined pH and temperature changes. This research points to highly variable responses at inter and intraspecific level. Two notable challenges as-sociated with developing biological impact indicators for OA-monitoring in the OSPAR marine area are: a) the large latitudinal range encompassed; and b) the uncer-tainty in defining the most suitable indicators due to our limited understanding of the potential biological consequences. Nevertheless, some candidate indicator species and groups to detect OA impacts have been provisionally identified by the Study Group.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee