Statement—Academy endorsement of statement on ocean acidification by IAP

On 1 June 2009, the Australian Academy of Science endorsed the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP)'s statement on ocean acidification.

The Australian Academy of Science has joined with academies of sixty nine other countries around the world to endorse a statement issued by the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP) on ocean acidification.

The release of the statement has been timed to coincide with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn this week.

The statement highlights that:

  • the oceans have absorbed about a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere by human activities since the industrial revolution;
  • rapid and irreversible changes in ocean chemistry have occurred as a direct result; and
  • these changes will have implications for marine ecosystems.

The Academy notes that the statement:

  • provides further indication of possible negative consequences of CO2 emissions that together point to the need to control future emissions; and
  • is based on our current best understanding of the science but that further research will be required, particularly into the impacts on ecosystems.

For this reason the Academy welcomes the federal government’s budget announcement that the Chief Scientist for Australia, Professor Penny Sackett will chair a coordination group to develop and implement a new Australian Climate Change Science Framework. The framework will identify future research priorities and the capabilities needed to deliver on those priorities.

The full text of the IAP ocean acidification statement, along with the names of national science academies that have endorsed it, is available on the IAP website.

Notes for news editors

The InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP) is a global network of the world's science academies, launched in 1993. Its primary goal is to help member academies work together to advise citizens and public officials on the scientific aspects of critical global issues. IAP is particularly interested in assisting young and small academies achieve these goals and, through the communication links and networks created by IAP activities, all academies will be able to raise both their public profile among citizens and their influence among policy makers.

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