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      Ocean Acidification and Human Health

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          Abstract

          The ocean provides resources key to human health and well-being, including food, oxygen, livelihoods, blue spaces, and medicines. The global threat to these resources posed by accelerating ocean acidification is becoming increasingly evident as the world’s oceans absorb carbon dioxide emissions. While ocean acidification was initially perceived as a threat only to the marine realm, here we argue that it is also an emerging human health issue. Specifically, we explore how ocean acidification affects the quantity and quality of resources key to human health and well-being in the context of: (1) malnutrition and poisoning, (2) respiratory issues, (3) mental health impacts, and (4) development of medical resources. We explore mitigation and adaptation management strategies that can be implemented to strengthen the capacity of acidifying oceans to continue providing human health benefits. Importantly, we emphasize that the cost of such actions will be dependent upon the socioeconomic context; specifically, costs will likely be greater for socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, exacerbating the current inequitable distribution of environmental and human health challenges. Given the scale of ocean acidification impacts on human health and well-being, recognizing and researching these complexities may allow the adaptation of management such that not only are the harms to human health reduced but the benefits enhanced.

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          Most cited references106

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          Impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms: quantifying sensitivities and interaction with warming

          Ocean acidification represents a threat to marine species worldwide, and forecasting the ecological impacts of acidification is a high priority for science, management, and policy. As research on the topic expands at an exponential rate, a comprehensive understanding of the variability in organisms' responses and corresponding levels of certainty is necessary to forecast the ecological effects. Here, we perform the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date by synthesizing the results of 228 studies examining biological responses to ocean acidification. The results reveal decreased survival, calcification, growth, development and abundance in response to acidification when the broad range of marine organisms is pooled together. However, the magnitude of these responses varies among taxonomic groups, suggesting there is some predictable trait-based variation in sensitivity, despite the investigation of approximately 100 new species in recent research. The results also reveal an enhanced sensitivity of mollusk larvae, but suggest that an enhanced sensitivity of early life history stages is not universal across all taxonomic groups. In addition, the variability in species' responses is enhanced when they are exposed to acidification in multi-species assemblages, suggesting that it is important to consider indirect effects and exercise caution when forecasting abundance patterns from single-species laboratory experiments. Furthermore, the results suggest that other factors, such as nutritional status or source population, could cause substantial variation in organisms' responses. Last, the results highlight a trend towards enhanced sensitivity to acidification when taxa are concurrently exposed to elevated seawater temperature.
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            Meta-analysis reveals negative yet variable effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms.

            Ocean acidification is a pervasive stressor that could affect many marine organisms and cause profound ecological shifts. A variety of biological responses to ocean acidification have been measured across a range of taxa, but this information exists as case studies and has not been synthesized into meaningful comparisons amongst response variables and functional groups. We used meta-analytic techniques to explore the biological responses to ocean acidification, and found negative effects on survival, calcification, growth and reproduction. However, there was significant variation in the sensitivity of marine organisms. Calcifying organisms generally exhibited larger negative responses than non-calcifying organisms across numerous response variables, with the exception of crustaceans, which calcify but were not negatively affected. Calcification responses varied significantly amongst organisms using different mineral forms of calcium carbonate. Organisms using one of the more soluble forms of calcium carbonate (high-magnesium calcite) can be more resilient to ocean acidification than less soluble forms (calcite and aragonite). Additionally, there was variation in the sensitivities of different developmental stages, but this variation was dependent on the taxonomic group. Our analyses suggest that the biological effects of ocean acidification are generally large and negative, but the variation in sensitivity amongst organisms has important implications for ecosystem responses. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.
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              High-Frequency Dynamics of Ocean pH: A Multi-Ecosystem Comparison

              The effect of Ocean Acidification (OA) on marine biota is quasi-predictable at best. While perturbation studies, in the form of incubations under elevated pCO2, reveal sensitivities and responses of individual species, one missing link in the OA story results from a chronic lack of pH data specific to a given species' natural habitat. Here, we present a compilation of continuous, high-resolution time series of upper ocean pH, collected using autonomous sensors, over a variety of ecosystems ranging from polar to tropical, open-ocean to coastal, kelp forest to coral reef. These observations reveal a continuum of month-long pH variability with standard deviations from 0.004 to 0.277 and ranges spanning 0.024 to 1.430 pH units. The nature of the observed variability was also highly site-dependent, with characteristic diel, semi-diurnal, and stochastic patterns of varying amplitudes. These biome-specific pH signatures disclose current levels of exposure to both high and low dissolved CO2, often demonstrating that resident organisms are already experiencing pH regimes that are not predicted until 2100. Our data provide a first step toward crystallizing the biophysical link between environmental history of pH exposure and physiological resilience of marine organisms to fluctuations in seawater CO2. Knowledge of this spatial and temporal variation in seawater chemistry allows us to improve the design of OA experiments: we can test organisms with a priori expectations of their tolerance guardrails, based on their natural range of exposure. Such hypothesis-testing will provide a deeper understanding of the effects of OA. Both intuitively simple to understand and powerfully informative, these and similar comparative time series can help guide management efforts to identify areas of marine habitat that can serve as refugia to acidification as well as areas that are particularly vulnerable to future ocean change.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                24 June 2020
                June 2020
                : 17
                : 12
                : 4563
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Simon F.S. Li Marine Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR, China
                [2 ]SKLEC-NIVA Centre for Marine and Coastal Research, State Key Laboratory for Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, 500 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200241, China; richard.bellerby@ 123456niva.no
                [3 ]Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Thormølensgate 53D, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
                [4 ]Southern Seas Ecology Laboratories, The Environment Institute, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia; sean.connell@ 123456adelaide.edu.au
                [5 ]European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School c/o Knowledge Spa RCHT, Truro, Cornwall TR1 3HD, UK; l.e.fleming@ 123456exeter.ac.uk (L.E.F.); bmaycock@ 123456iinet.net.au (B.M.)
                [6 ]Swire Institute of Marine Science and School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong SAR, China; brussell@ 123456hku.hk
                [7 ]Prostate Cancer Institute, Galway Clinic, Doughiska, H91HHT0 Galway, Ireland; frank.sullivan@ 123456galwayclinic.com
                [8 ]Department for Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Kristineberg 566, 45178 Fiskebäckskil, Sweden; sam.dupont@ 123456bioenv.gu.se
                Author notes
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5868-2310
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5350-6852
                https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1282-9978
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5111-5383
                Article
                ijerph-17-04563
                10.3390/ijerph17124563
                7344635
                32599924
                b88b2d7e-584d-44c4-9090-6fa95f99c646
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                History
                : 31 May 2020
                : 20 June 2020
                Categories
                Review

                Public health
                ocean acidification,global climate change,human health,seafood,malnutrition,air quality,respiratory health,biodiversity loss

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