European Project on Ocean Acidification
Start date: May 1, 2008,
End date: Apr 30, 2012
"The overall goal of the European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA) is to fill the numerousgaps in our understanding of the effects and implications of ocean acidification.EPOCA aims to document the changes in ocean chemistry and biogeography across space and time.Paleo-reconstruction methods will be used on several archives, including foraminifera and deep-seacorals, to determine past variability in ocean chemistry and to tie these to present-day chemical andbiological observations.EPOCA will determine the sensitivity of marine organisms, communities and ecosystems to oceanacidification. Molecular to biochemical, physiological and ecological approaches will be combinedwith laboratory and field-based perturbation experiments to quantify biological responses to oceanacidification, assess the potential for adaptation, and determine the consequences for biogeochemicalcycling. Laboratory experiments will focus on key organisms selected on the basis of their ecological,biogeochemical or socio-economic importance. Field studies will be carried out in systems deemedmost sensitive to ocean acidification.Results on the chemical, biological and biogeochemical impacts of ocean acidification will be integratedin biogeochemical, sediment and coupled ocean-climate models to better understand and predictthe responses of the Earth system to ocean acidification. Special special attention will be paid to thepotential feedbacks of the physiological changes in the carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and iron cycles.EPOCA will assess uncertainties, risks and thresholds (""tipping points"") related to ocean acidificationat scales ranging from sub-cellular, to ecosystem and from local to global. It will also assess pathwaysof CO2 emissions required to avoid these thresholds and describe the state change and the subsequentrisk to the marine environment and Earth system should these emissions be exceeded."
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