Impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems: educational challenges and innovations
Abstract: Population growth and social/technological developments have resulted in the buildup of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere and oceans to the extent that we now see changes in the earth’s climate and ocean chemistry. Ocean acidification is one consequence of these changes, and it is known with certainty that it will continue to increase as we emit more CO2 into the atmosphere. Ocean acidification is a global issue likely to impact marine organisms, food webs and ecosystems and to be most severely experienced by the people who depend on the goods and services the ocean provides at regional and local levels. However, research is in its infancy and the available data on biological impacts are complex (e.g., species-specific response). Educating future generations on the certainties and uncertainties of the emerging science of ocean acidification and its complex consequences for marine species and ecosystems can provide insights that will help assessing the need to mitigate and/or adapt to future global change. This article aims to present different educational approaches, the different material available and highlight the future challenges of ocean acidification education for both educators and marine biologists.