Marine scientists present report at UN Convention

Heriot-Watt University's Centre for Marine Biodiversity & Biotechnology (CMBB) is leading the production of a new international report examining the impacts of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems.

Completed through the UK Ocean Acidification programme with support from the Natural Environment Research Council, this new report was edited by Dr Sebastian Hennige and Professor Murray Roberts from the CMBB and Dr Phil Williamson from NERC. The report was prepared on behalf of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Acid Test

As the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuel use dissolves in the oceans it forms carbonic acid, altering seawater carbonate chemistry and making it more acidic. Ocean acidification threatens many marine ecosystems particularly those, like coral reefs, that rely on limestone shells and skeletons.

After over a year of preparation involving 27 authors from eight countries, the report was presented by Professor Murray Roberts at the 18th meeting of CBD's Subsidiary Body of Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice in Montreal, Canada. The report will now be finalised before being published in time for the CBD's Conference of Parties meeting to be held in South Korea in October.