An interactive ocean acidification kiosk developed by the Alaska Marine Conservation Council as an educational resource to educate Alaskans about ocean acidification, is now installed at the Cordova Center.
It will be on display there until late fall.
The kiosk offers short videos featuring the perspectives of researchers, fishermen and seafood industry leaders from around Alaska, with easy to understand science for viewers of all ages.
“The kiosk is a tool for learning about ocean acidification from scientists and concerned people in the seafood business,” said Dorothy Childers, project coordinator for AMCC. “More research and discussion is needed to answer all the questions, but now is the time for finding out what lies ahead and taking useful action to support future generations of fishermen.”
“Researching the effects of ocean acidification and monitoring the presence of corrosive waters in Alaska is a vital task,” said Katrina Hoffman, president and chief executive officer of the Prince William Sound Science Center. “We are pleased to support opportunities like the Ocean Acidification Kiosk in helping fishermen, subsistence harvesters and coastal Alaskans learn and get involved.”
Ocean acidification is a global trend caused primarily by increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere resulting from the burning of fossil fuels. When the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide, a chemical reaction occurs that dissolves calcium carbonate minerals in the water. As the ocean absorbs a greater share of carbon dioxide, more calcium carbonate is dissolved, which in turn lowers the pH and increases the acidity of seawater.
Calcium carbonate is also the building block for shell formation. The reduction in calcium carbonate minerals compromises the health and survivability of shellfish and small shell forming zooplankton known as pteropods, an important food source for salmon. Alaska’s oceans are especially vulnerable to acidification because high latitude cold waters can absorb more carbon dioxide than warm water regions.
View the videos on the Ocean Acidification Kiosk at https://vimeo.com/album/3457803
Here are more resources about ocean acidification:
- Alaska Ocean Acidification Network
- University of Alaska Fairbanks/Ocean Acidification Research Center
- Prince William Sound Science Center/K-12 Education – Ocean Monitoring
- Alaska Marine Conservation Council