A new study led by PMEL's Dr. Jeremy Mathis, published online July 29 in Progress in Oceanography, shows that many of Alaska's economically valuable marine fisheries are located in waters already experiencing ocean acidification. The economy and livelihood of communities in southeast and southwest Alaska are expected to be particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification and have underlying factors making these communities more susceptible. Studies show that red king crab and tanner crab, two important Alaskan fisheries, grow more slowly and don’t survive as well in more acidic waters. Alaska’s coastal waters are particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification because of cold water that can absorb more carbon dioxide, and unique ocean circulation patterns which bring naturally acidic deep ocean waters to the surface.
PMEL in the News
The release of carbon dioxide into the air from power plant smokestacks to the tailpipe on your car could pose a risk to red king crab and other lucrative fisheries in Alaska, a new report says.
At the start of 2014 meteorologists warned of a possible El Nino event this year. The portents were persuasive – a warming of the central Pacific much like that which preceded the powerful El Nino event of 1997.
There is increasing scientific and public awareness that the Cascadia subduction zone, an active plate boundary fault off the coast of the Pacific Northwest (PNW), is capable of generating great earthquakes (magnitude 9 or larger). Concern over the earthquake hazard of this zone motivated creation of the Cascadia Initiative, an NSF sponsored community project to deploy and maintain an array of onshore/offshore seismic and geodetic sensors. PMEL scientists are co-investigators on the project... more