It is estimated that the world’s oceans are now 30% more acidic as a result of higher emissions of carbon dioxide since the industrial revolution. This constitutes a threat not least to shellfish and corals made up of calcium carbonate, which could have a drastic effect on the oceans’ ecosystems and global economic interests.
The University of Gothenburg hosts several research projects on ocean acidification, including the EU-financed EPOCA (European Project on Ocean Acidification), and researchers from both the Department of Marine Ecology and the Department of Chemistry have, in recent years, published significant findings on the accelerating acidification of the oceans.
The Kristineberg laboratories of the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences are now set to take on an even more important role in this particular area.
Yesterday the British government announced the largest ocean acidification research project in both the UK and Europe to date. With funding of almost SEK 140 million, the project will see the Lovén Centre at Kristineberg as the only non-British research organisation involved.
“They chose the Lovén Centre and Kristineberg because we have the best facilities and cutting-edge expertise when it comes to research into ocean acidification,” says professor Michael Thorndyke of the Department of Marine Ecology, who is heading up the Swedish side of the project along with marine ecologist Sam Dupont.
“Together with the University of Plymouth, we will be studying the effects of acidification on starfish and bass.”
The project – the Ocean Acidification Research Programme – involves a total of 101 researchers from 21 British universities and research institutions.