Feely Testifies before U.S. Senate September 2004

Final Recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy

PMEL scientist Dr. Richard Feely testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation at a hearing on September 21, 2004 examining the final recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy.  Dr. Feely's testimony focused on the impacts of anthropogenic CO2 on corals and other marine calcifiers.

Dr. Feely and Dr. Victoria J. Fabry, of the California State University, San Marcos, appeared before the Committee in their capacity as co-authors of two recent back-to-back papers in Science covering this topic. Their testimony addressed the acquisition of a new global data set of ocean tracer and carbon system observations gathered during the 1990s, composed of more than 72,000 observations and 10 times better accuracy than the previous global survey in the 1970's. The results showed that oceanic uptake removed 118 +/- 19 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere through 1994, reducing the CO2 level in the atmosphere by about 55 parts per million.

The testimony discussed the impacts of anthropogenic CO2 on ocean chemistry and the ecological impacts of changing CO2 chemistry on marine organisms, and outlined future observations and research needed to gain better understanding of how ocean biology and chemistry will operate differently under higher CO2 and lower pH conditions, so that predictive models can include appropriate representations of these processes.

To learn more about the hearing visit the web site for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Visit CSPAN's online archive for full coverage of the hearing. The written testimony may be viewed on NOAA's Congressional Testimony page.

Testimony of Dr. Richard Feely

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