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Draft Updated Synthesis of Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Biodiversity Available for Peer-Review

CBD10 January 2014: The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has circulated for peer-review the draft updated synthesis of the impacts of ocean acidification on marine biodiversity, which will be submitted for consideration to the eighteenth meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), to be held in June 2014.

The document was prepared following a request by the Conference of the Parties (COP) in its Decision XI/18, and builds on the synthesis provided in the 2009 CBD Technical Series no. 46, titled 'Scientific Synthesis of the Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Biodiversity.' Sections include: the background of ocean acidification and key knowledge gaps; the scientific and policy framework; global status and future trends of ocean acidification; conclusions from palaeo-oceanographic research; impacts of ocean acidification on biodiversity and ecosystem function, as well as on ecosystem services, livelihoods and biogeochemistry; future considerations, including resolving uncertainties; and conclusions.

It is noted that research has highlighted that not all organisms respond the same way, with some organisms being negatively impacted, some positively affected, and others not showing any apparent change. These variable results need to be understood to explain how ocean acidification affects whole communities, although it is always important to consider that impacts may not be detectable over the short time scales of most laboratory experiments. While the authors note that the impact of ocean acidification on marine biodiversity and ecosystems is not yet completely understood, historic archives and current experiments indicate that significant change is to be expected, with some species continuing as normal and some becoming more successful, while others may become locally or even globally extinct.

Governments and relevant organizations are invited to review the document and provide their comments to the CBD Secretariat by 28 February 2014. [CBD Notification] [Draft Updated Synthesis for Peer-Review][CBD Technical Series No. 46: Scientific Synthesis of the Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Biodiversity]