Climate change and ocean acidification are linked, emerging challenges for human and ocean ecosystems. Climate change refers to change in global patterns of the atmosphere and ocean, while ocean acidification is the decline in ocean pH and related variables. Both effects are due in large part to the buildup of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mainly resulting from burning fossil fuels. Research on those topics includes everything from determining the magnitude of observed and expected change to specific human and environmental impacts, to policy solutions.

Faculty active in this research area:

Please see individual faculty web pages for more about their work in this area.

Related SMEA courses:

  • SMEA 500: Human Dimensions of Global Change
  • SMEA 510: Topics in Marine Ecology
  • SMEA 521: Governmental Responses to Global Climate Change
  • SMEA 550: Marine Social-Ecological Systems
  • SMEA 591: Marine Science in the Coastal Zone

Examples of what MMA students do in this research area:

  • assess impacts of climate change on marine and coastal ecosystems
  • explore the potential role of oceans in climate mitigation through carbon capture and storage
  • study emerging strategies for climate change adaptation at local to global scales
  • explore efforts to mitigate and adapt to ocean acidification
  • assess the issue of sea level rise and extreme climate effects to the coastal and marine economy.

Examples of related MMA student theses:

Aronson, Rachel. 2013. Adapting to Climate Change in Unalakleet, Alaska.

Shishido, Caitlin. 2013. Carbon drawn-down potential by the native eelgrass Zostera marina in Puget Sound and implications for ocean acidification management.

Gibbs, Heather. 2011. Public perception of climate change and evaluation of policy options regarding sea level rise and shoreline armoring in Puget Sound.

Combest-Friedman, Chelsea. 2010. Climate variability and coastal household perceptions of change in the Central Philippines.

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