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Arctic Council Releases 2013 Overview of Arctic Ocean Acidification

Arctic Council28 March 2014: The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), an Arctic Council Working Group, has released the 'Arctic Ocean Acidifcation 2013: An Overview,' which is written for the general public and educational purposes in high schools.

AMAP highlights that the Arctic Ocean's pH is experiencing a long-term decline due to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in its waters. This acidification has negative impacts on marine ecosystems, which must also cope with warming and melting sea ice. The assessment also highlights the economic impacts of the acidification, including on commercial fisheries and marine resources used by indigenous peoples.

Other findings of the assessment include that: Arctic marine waters are experiencing widespread and rapid ocean acidification; the primary driver of ocean acidification is uptake of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere by human activities; the Arctic Ocean is especially vulnerable to ocean acidification; acidification is not uniform across the Arctic Ocean; and it is likely that due to ocean acidification some marine organisms respond positively to new conditions, while others be disadvantaged, possibly to the point of local extinction.

Prior to the 'Overview,' AMAP released the technical background documentation, a film on the subject, the comprehensive assessment and a policy makers' summary. The work resulted in recommendations for the Arctic Council Ministers, which met in Kiruna, Sweden, in May 2013. AMAP has plans for a follow-up assessment, the details of which are still under development.

The mandate of AMAP is defined by the AMAP Strategic Framework, as approved by the Arctic Council Ministers and Senior Arctic Officials. The Arctic Council consists of the eight Arctic States: Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the US. [AMAP Website] [Publication: Arctic Ocean Acidification 2013: An Overview] [Publication: Acrtic Ocean Acidification Assessment: Summary for Policy-Makers]