Dr Sam Dupont is an Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in Marine Eco-Physiology at the University of Gothenburg.
His main research focus is the effect of global changes—such as ocean acidification and warming—on marine ecosystems. He has published in more than 170 publications in journals including Nature, PNAS and TREE.
Sam is also working on the development of innovative science communication and education strategies to tackle global challenges through his roles as Steering Committee member of the Centre for Collective Action Research (CeCAR), communication coordinator of the Nordic Centre of Excellence on Sustainable and Resilient Aquatic Production (SUREAQUA) and PI of the Inquiry to Student Environmental Actions project (I2SEA).
The third aspect of his work aims at evaluating and building capacities for marine science in developing countries through his position as focal point of the capacity building program of the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-iCC) and member of the executive council of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON).
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences – University of Gothenburg, The Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Infrastructure – Kristineberg, Fiskebäckskil, Sweden
Ocean acidification is a direct consequence of the increased carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere due to human activity. As CO2 is absorbed by the ocean, it turns into carbonic acid and alter the carbonate chemistry leading to an increase in acidity (a decrease in pH). Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the average surface pH of the ocean decreased by 0.1 pH unit corresponding to a 30% increase in acidity. A further pH decrease up to 0.4 pH unit is projected by the end of this century. Over the last 20 years, thousands of articles demonstrated without ambiguity that ocean acidification is happening all over the world and that marine species, ecosystems and associated services (e.g. seafood provision) are and will be increasingly impacted.
However, many challenges remain. Ocean acidification is a global issue requiring global actions (mitigation of CO2). Ocean acidification is also a local challenge with consequences for local communities depending on the sea and the development of technological and societal adaptation measures is key to buy some time needed for global CO2 negotiations. To address mitigation and adaptation, new knowledge is required at the local level including a better understanding of coastal acidification, the impact of variability in pH and other physico-chemical parameters, the role of local adaptation in species and ecosystems sensitivity, interaction with other local and global drivers, etc. Acquiring these data can be challenging in some countries where facilities and knowledge is not currently available.
During this presentation, I will provide a snapshot of the field with an emphasis on the importance of capacity building and the need for an efficient communication strategy that would allow to drive the required changes at all levels of society to fully address the challenge of ocean acidification.