A Sea Change

PMEL scientists contributed to a documentary called "A Sea Change"

PMEL scientists Dr. Richard Feely and Dr. Christopher Sabine recently contributed to a documentary where they discussed their work involving the measuring and monitoring of ocean acidification in our world's oceans. The documentary, "A Sea Change", featured many NOAA scientists and premiered on March 14, 2009 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. as part of the DC Environmental Film Festival. Since then it has been shown at many venues all around the world.

The documentary follows a retired teacher and headmaster, Sven Huseby, as he seeks out a variety of perspectives on ocean acidification and how to explain this to his young grandson. Drs. Sabine and Feely are shown speaking at PMEL in Seattle, Washington next to the world's first ocean acidification mooring developed by engineers and scientists at PMEL. "A Sea Change" was made by Nijii Films and produce in partnership with Sailors for the Sea, a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore our oceans and coastal waters.

A Short Video Clip from the documentary A Sea Change

with Dr. Richard Feely and Dr. Christopher Sabine

Transcript below

0:13 >> HUSEBY: What do we got here...looks like we have Rube Goldberg working in the back room.
0:17 >> [Laughter]: What is this?
0:19 >> FEELY: We have all the components to study ocean acidification for the very first time together on this mooring.
0:25 >> SABINE: We've moved well beyond just figuring out what's the temperature change. There are chemistry changes, there are ecosystem changes, there are biological changes. All of these things are happening all at once.
0:35 >> FEELY: We always thought of CO2 as a waste product of all of the production of fossil fuels from coal and oil and automobiles. We just dumped it into the atmosphere and we said "No problem, the ocean is supposed to suck it up" and sure enough, the oceans do suck it up.
0:51 >> SABINE: We first approached all of this with the idea that, wow, the oceans are performing this tremendous service for humankind.
0:57 >> SABINE: It's absorbing 22 million tons of CO2 a day.
1:01 >> SABINE: So we first approached this and said "Great, let's go figure out how this is working, maybe we can enhance it".
1:06 >> SABINE: But it wasn't until we got out there and actually quantified that the oceans have absorbed 118 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.
1:15 >> SABINE: A metric ton is about how much a small car weighs.
1:19 >> SABINE: And we've put the equivalent of 118 billion VW Bugs worth of CO2 into the ocean over the last 200 years. And 43 percent of that has happened just in the last 20 years. And it's growing exponentially. You know, as we start to project out to the future it really gets scary. And people say "Oh, well, the oceans are huge, you know, we could never really change...affect the oceans". Well, we are.
1:45 >> HUSEBY: They are changing.
1:46 >> SABINE: They are changing and we're measuring it.
1:48 >> SABINE: We're actually documenting it.