3

Specific Analysis of the Themes of the Strategic Plan

This chapter provides the committee’s review of each Theme described in the Strategic Plan. The general issues discussed in Chapter 2—notably the points concerning establishment of a National Program Office, prioritization of activities, metrics for evaluating progress, and implementation of program elements—are further addressed below in the specific contexts of the seven Themes. As emphasized in Chapter 2, the committee recognizes that a strategic plan differs from a more focused implementation plan, and that detailed descriptions of specific programs for achieving the broad goals of the FOARAM Act cannot be developed in the Strategic Plan. Nonetheless, the committee concludes that some of the Themes provide insufficient information regarding the design of effective mechanisms for successful implementation. Thus, the committee offers recommendations for each Theme to guide implementation efforts.

The committee analyzes each of the seven Themes by, first, summarizing the relevant mandate (Program Element) from the FOARAM Act and, then, discussing how effectively the goals of the Program Element are addressed by the Theme in the Strategic Plan. Recommendations are offered when the committee concludes that the Strategic Plan needs further development.

Our committee recognizes that considerable time has elapsed between completion of the Strategic Plan and initiation of the review process. During this period, new literature has appeared, some of which needs to be analyzed and integrated into the Strategic Plan. We offer several suggestions for these up-dates in our critiques of the different Themes.



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3 Specific Analysis of the Themes of the Strategic Plan T his chapter provides the committee’s review of each Theme described in the Strategic Plan. The general issues discussed in Chapter 2— notably the points concerning establishment of a National Program Office, prioritization of activities, metrics for evaluating progress, and implementation of program elements—are further addressed below in the specific contexts of the seven Themes. As emphasized in Chapter 2, the committee recognizes that a strategic plan differs from a more focused implementation plan, and that detailed descriptions of specific programs for achieving the broad goals of the FOARAM Act cannot be developed in the Strategic Plan. Nonetheless, the committee concludes that some of the Themes provide insufficient information regarding the design of effective mechanisms for successful implementation. Thus, the committee offers recommendations for each Theme to guide implementation efforts. The committee analyzes each of the seven Themes by, first, summa- rizing the relevant mandate (Program Element) from the FOARAM Act and, then, discussing how effectively the goals of the Program Element are addressed by the Theme in the Strategic Plan. Recommendations are offered when the committee concludes that the Strategic Plan needs fur- ther development. Our committee recognizes that considerable time has elapsed between completion of the Strategic Plan and initiation of the review process. Dur- ing this period, new literature has appeared, some of which needs to be analyzed and integrated into the Strategic Plan. We offer several sugges- tions for these up-dates in our critiques of the different Themes. 27

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28 REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL OA RESEARCH AND MONITORING PLAN Overall, the committee concludes that the Strategic Plan is a well- researched, logically developed, and well-written document.1 With appro- priate modification, the committee believes that it will serve to make a compelling case for the implementation of a program on ocean acidifi- cation research and monitoring that satisfies the mandates given in the FOARAM Act. THEME 1:  MONITORING OF OCEAN CHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGICAL IMPACTS The FOARAM Act (page 9) mandates “[m]onitoring of ocean chemistry and biological impacts associated with ocean acidification at selected coastal and open-ocean monitoring stations, including satellite-based monitoring to characterize (A) marine ecosystems; (B) changes in marine productivity; and (C) changes in surface ocean chemistry.” To this end, the IWGOA Strategic Plan’s Theme 1 addresses how the U.S. scientific community will go about monitoring changes in ocean chemistry and its biological impacts. The committee finds that the focus of Theme 1 overlaps considerably with that of Theme 2 (“Research to understand the species-specific physiological responses . . . impacts on marine food webs . . . and . . . ecosystem responses to ocean acidification.”), such that close attention to developing integrated and complementary efforts across these two Themes is warranted. Like- wise, the critical role of advances in technology for monitoring efforts, as pointed out in Theme 4, makes improved integration of Themes 1 and 4 appropriate. The treatment of the relevant FOARAM Act Program Element specific to Theme 1 is well-presented and comprehensive, especially in the arena of chemistry and efforts to monitor pH and carbon-related variables (see below). These monitoring efforts are very important and it is critical that they be expanded rapidly, because for many coastal waters no baseline information exists. The monitoring activities outlined in Theme 1 will provide the first descriptions of the carbonate chemistry and its variability of these coastal waters. These measurements are important because they will form the baseline against which future changes will be measured and provide information about the coastal environment that supports many U.S. fishery resources. Because the rationale for these monitoring efforts is not presented in detail until Theme 2, a nonexpert reader would not fully grasp the importance and reasons for monitoring from the description presented in 1  Note:The report does not offer recommendations that involve syntax and grammar. The Strategic Plan is generally well-written and we feel that the revision process will en- able the Strategic Plan’s authors to remedy any shortfalls in expositional writing that may currently exist.

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SPECIFIC ANALYSIS OF THE THEMES OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN 29 Theme 1. To make the Strategic Plan more effective in conveying the need for monitoring and for adequate support for these efforts, the rationale for the chemical monitoring effort along U.S. coasts needs to be better described in Theme 1 or the order of Themes 1 and 2 needs to be reversed. For instance, the importance of early detection of changes in pH is notable, because such ‘early warning’ information would be needed for ecological and socioeconomic analyses. And, as in the case of other types of studies outlined in the Strategic Plan, monitoring activities require prioritization; no clear process for establishing priorities is given in Theme 1. The committee commends the IWGOA for providing relevant exam- ples of how ocean acidification monitoring can be built into existing research programs at relatively low cost. The CLIVAR/Repeat Hydrog- raphy program and the time-series programs at Hawaii and Bermuda are highlighted. These programs provide what are probably the best avail- able examples of efforts for monitoring seawater carbonate chemistry over time. However, the limitations in temporal and spatial sampling seen in existing studies reflect the need for a greatly expanded monitor- ing program, one whose success is likely to depend on new technology (e.g., improved in situ sensors). The time-series programs provide the additional advantage of biological monitoring being integrated with the chemical studies. The National Science Foundation (NSF) Long-Term Ecological Research program is another example of an existing activity that could be augmented to include chemical and biological monitoring related to ocean acidification. Theme 1 of the Strategic Plan provides a good description of the chemical parameters that need to be measured and points out that par- ticulate inorganic carbon (PIC), particulate organic carbon (POC) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) need to also be included in the suite of parameters that are monitored. The Strategic Plan could be strengthened by better distinguishing the different objectives of monitoring the chemi- cal parameters and by stating how the technologies and sampling proto- cols should be selected to best achieve these different objectives. One objective is the detection of long-term trends in a data record against a background of substantial short-term variability. Achieving such a goal requires high instrument and measurement precision and an adequate length of data record. Ideally, in situ sensors could play a central role in long-term monitoring efforts because this type of instrumentation could be placed at a large number of sites around the globe to obtain records of pH-related variables at different depths with high temporal resolution. However, until in situ sensors have the needed precision, accu- racy, and long-term stability, the collection and analysis of discrete sam- ples will be vital to ensure that the carbonate chemistry data sets will have the accuracy required to detect trends in carbonate chemistry in response to ocean acidification. The Strategic Plan’s emphasis on in situ sensors

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30 REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL OA RESEARCH AND MONITORING PLAN is warranted over the longer term, but the current sensors available for such monitoring have significant limitations (e.g., in terms of continual calibration during long-term periods of data collection). The committee is encouraged, however, by reports that development of in situ sensors with adequate precision, stability, and depth-capabilities is progressing rapidly, in part through effective collaborations between academic, governmen- tal and industrial organizations. Here, the development of CTD sensors serves as a model for such collaborations. The development of adequate sensors and their deployment at numerous sites would represent a major breakthrough in monitoring efforts. Lastly, whatever technology and methods of data collection happen to be used, the long-term utility of data sets will depend on consistent, accurate calibration protocols, to ensure comparability of data over time (see Dickson et al., 2007). A second objective is to measure short-term variability at appropriate temporal and spatial scales, to understand the range of values organisms are exposed to and to complement in situ biological observations to study organisms’ responses to such changes. Examples of this type of monitor- ing include changes in pH and carbonate chemistry due to physical pro- cesses such as upwelling events, as well as biological processes such as diurnal cycles in photosynthesis and respiration. For these purposes, in situ sensors are highly attractive because they offer the ability to sample more frequently in space and time. A significant weakness in the presentation of Theme 1 is the lack of detail about proposed biological monitoring. This shortfall is due in part to the fact that much remains to be learned about which biological pro- cesses are most sensitive to changes in carbonate chemistry, how ocean acidification will impact different organisms across their life cycles, and, ultimately, how these diverse interspecific and life stage-specific sensi- tivities will play out through species interactions at the ecosystem level. This research need is in part captured by those goals in the Strategic Plan that state the need to “develop biological monitoring protocols.” There is a growing recognition in the scientific community that a universal set of biological parameters may not exist, but rather that the optimal biologi- cal parameters to characterize the effects of ocean acidification may be specific to particular habitats or even organisms. Consequently, the committee agrees with the following statement in the Strategic Plan: “The National Ocean Acidification Program will need to incorporate a process for identifying issues to be addressed by biological indica- tors (Theme 2) and guidelines for developing the indicators and vetting their performance (e.g., Jackson et al., 2000; Theme 4).” The committee further believes that a determination of what is monitored, how it is measured, and the usefulness of these measures in detecting biological responses to ocean acidification will be a rapidly evolving aspect of the Ocean Acidifi- cation Program. Thus, the committee believes it is important that the Plan

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SPECIFIC ANALYSIS OF THE THEMES OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN 31 describe a process for reevaluating the inventory of biological measure- ments chosen for monitoring purposes (for example, building from the experience of the process studies detailed in Theme 2). In developing a strategy for creating an ocean acidification observing network, it is important to maintain a broad perspective of not only how the chemical and biological monitoring advances the scientific needs, but also the suite of socioeconomic issues that may result from the diverse effects of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems (presented in Theme 5). As mentioned throughout this committee’s report, such an interdisci- plinary approach should be incorporated at the very early stages of the evolving U.S. Ocean Acidification Program, to ensure that development of effective policies (e.g., in “adaptation;” see Theme 5) are commensurate with research on ocean acidification’s impacts, and that the program helps familiarize the public at large about the potential impacts of ocean acidifi- cation on U.S. economic interests (an issue treated in Theme 6). The Strategic Plan does not provide much information on the physical locations of monitoring sites nor the frequency of monitoring at the cho- sen locations. Criteria for decision making on choices of monitoring sites and frequencies of monitoring will be crucial to the success of the overall monitoring effort. Although some decision on monitoring locations may be based on practical considerations, such as the existence of laboratory and ship facilities in an area, it is critical that the goals of the FOARAM Act serve as guides for implementing a broad monitoring program. Thus, for example, the coastal sites to be monitored should include waters where commercially important shellfish occur either naturally or in mari- culture facilities. Monitoring in these regions would help in integrating monitoring efforts with socioeconomic concerns. Frequency of monitoring is also a critical element in the design of a monitoring program. Continu- ous monitoring may be needed in situations where intermittent upwelling of low pH waters threatens shellfish mariculture operations. Addition- ally, although various coastal regions will experience differing impacts, it appears conjectural in the discussion of Theme 1 to state at the onset of the program that one region is more threatened than another. Some regions are strongly predicted to be at risk, but at present there are too few data to support predictions regarding the degree of vulnerability for most coastal areas.2 Nonetheless, the discussion in Theme 1 could emphasize important observing sites located in U.S. territorial waters (perhaps using 2  Vulnerability is a function of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity (i.e., the capac- ity to cope with or recover from an environmental stressor). Resource managers are urged to assess the vulnerability of the systems they are charged with managing and information that can inform such vulnerability assessments will be critical for adaptation planning (NRC, 2010). Such vulnerability assessments can also assist in planning research and monitoring activities.

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32 REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL OA RESEARCH AND MONITORING PLAN a more detailed map than Figure 5 of the Strategic Plan), that are relevant to vital marine resources and to U.S. economic interests. Finally, as is the case for all Themes—and as is discussed in depth in Chapter 2—there is a lack of information concerning prioritization of the different activities that are proposed and the metrics that would be used to evaluate how effectively different research and monitoring activities are moving toward realization of the program goals. In summary: To convey more effectively the rationale for chemical and biological monitoring, the Strategic Plan needs to describe at the begin- ning the potential consequences of ocean acidification and the importance of monitoring for tracking ocean acidification-related changes in marine chemistry and biology. In addition, an explicit description of the various purposes for monitoring the chemical parameters would improve the Strategic Plan. The role of evolving technology, notably for in situ mea- surements, must be taken into account to ensure that the most powerful new methods are integrated into monitoring programs. Thus, integra- tion of Themes 1 and 4 is important. Because the biological parameters to be monitored will likely evolve with an increasing understanding of the impacts, it is important that the Strategic Plan describe a process for reevaluating the inventory of biological measurements chosen for moni- toring purposes. Themes 1 and 2 therefore should be integrated. Lastly, monitoring should also include the socioeconomic information needed to address the societal challenges related to ocean acidification (Theme 5). THEME 2:  RESEARCH TO UNDERSTAND RESPONSES TO OCEAN ACIDIFICATION The FOARAM Act mandates “[r]esearch to understand the species spe- cific physiological responses of marine organisms to ocean acidification, impacts on marine food webs of ocean acidification, and to develop environmental and ecological indices that track marine ecosystem responses to ocean acidification.” This broad Program Element of the Act encompasses the wide impacts of ocean acidification and the tasks described herein are closely related to activities essential for achieving goals presented in many of the other Themes in the Strategic Plan. Thus, in the analysis below we focus not only on the extent to which the Strategic Plan addresses its primary Ele- ment of the FOARAM Act, but also on how well it integrates Theme 2 with the other relevant Themes. The goals in this section of the Strategic Plan are consistent with the requirements of the FOARAM Act, as well as the many previous reports that were used as resources for developing the Plan. Given the com- plexities of organismal physiology and ecosystem structure and function,

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SPECIFIC ANALYSIS OF THE THEMES OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN 33 Theme 2 of the Strategic Plan necessarily deals with many research chal- lenges and thus includes many recommendations and research goals. The chapter is comprehensive and covers a broad array of ocean acidification impacts across scales of ecology (species to ecosystems) and time (includ- ing geological), as well as the research techniques required to address the diverse questions comprising this complex Theme. The Strategic Plan has done a good job of summarizing the state of knowledge within a rapidly growing field. However, since the Strategic Plan was written, the original literature on ocean acidification has grown considerably. It therefore is necessary to revise the text and the list of ref- erences accordingly, to ensure that recommendations and goals are based on the most current information available in the literature. As follows, the committee makes a series of suggestions concerning literature references to reflect new developments that could be used to update and strengthen Theme 2: • Consider including more references that represent international research. • Reconsider use of references that are out-of-date and, therefore, may present conclusions that have been supplanted by more recent work (e.g., McNeil et al., 2004); in this case, a recent reference by Shaw et al. (2012) is more appropriate. • Reconsider the balance of references related to impacts of ocean acidification, such that calcification receives appropriate but not undue emphasis. As indicated in Chapter 1, recent studies have demonstrated the wide-ranging effects of ocean acidification on organismal function, including unanticipated effects on behavior, olfaction, and neurotransmit- ter action in marine fish (Simpson et al., 2011; Briffa et al., 2012; Nilsson et al., 2012). A widely occurring consequence of ocean acidification involves energy costs involved in regulation of pH values of body fluids (Pörtner et al., 2010). In many, if not most animals, costs of pH regulation may rise as ocean pH decreases. An increasing number of studies are focusing on this energetic cost of pH regulation and it deserves greater attention in this Theme. Interaction of ocean acidification with other global change- related stresses needs to be mentioned (see Pörtner et al., 2010). Pörtner et al. (2010) has introduced a conceptual model that suggests that elevated CO2 (and reduced O2) can reduce the thermal tolerance of species exactly at a time when they are being challenged by thermal stress. • Huesemann et al. (2002) and Millero et al. (2009) on page 21 of the Strategic Plan do not seem to support the statements made. • The discussions on natural CO2 seeps and Free Ocean CO2 Enrich- ment (FOCE) are out of date; updating and addition of recent references would improve this discussion. Figure 6 does not represent ocean acidifi-

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34 REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL OA RESEARCH AND MONITORING PLAN cation; rather, a figure from Fabricius et al. (2011), an important reference that is missing from the document, would be much better (see example Figure 3.1 below). The overall approach in Theme 2 concerning biological adaptation could be developed in a more focused manner and key terms could be defined to reduce ambiguity. In the latter context, the various uses of the Figure 3-1 terms “adaptation” and “adapt” need to be defined. All organisms will exhibit some capacity to adapt, R02361 is a need to understand the time but there frame (individual lifetime versus multiple generations) and the limits of bitmapped, uneditable this capacity (both rates and magnitude; for review, see Somero, 2012). A landscape above, scaled for portrait below “acclimatize/ clear distinction needs to be stated between the capacity to acclimate,” which refers to phenotypic changes during an organism’s life- FIGURE 3.1 Volcanic CO2 seeps of Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea, showing seascapes at a, control site (‘low pCO2’: pH~8.1), b, moderate seeps (‘high pCO2’: pH 7.8–8.0), and c, the most intense vents (pH <7.7), showing progressive loss of diversity and structural complexity with increasing pCO2. d, Map of the main seep site along the western shore of Upa-Upasina; color contours indicate seawater pH, and the letters indicate the approximate locations of seascapes as shown in a-c. SOURCE: Reprinted with permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd.: Nature Climate Change, Fabricius et al. (2011).

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SPECIFIC ANALYSIS OF THE THEMES OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN 35 time, and “adaptation” which in the evolutionary sense involves genetic changes. The potential for acclimatization may be critical in conferring short-term tolerance to ocean acidification during a species’ lifetime (e.g., during diurnal or seasonal fluctuations in pH found in tide pools and kelp forests). Likewise, acclimatization to factors such as temperature and oxy- gen content that may co-vary with pH may be critically important. How- ever, the ultimate success of a species in coping with ocean acidification over longer multigenerational time scales may demand genetic adapta- tion. Species with shorter generation times are likely to have greater abili- ties to evolve adaptive changes than species with long generation times, assuming adequate genetic variation exists. Related to the latter, currently little is known about differences between species or among populations of a single species in tolerance of reduced pH; this area of research merits vigorous study to identify the potential adaptive capacities of different marine species in the face of ocean acidification. The analysis in Theme 2 would benefit from a broader consideration of the types of nonbiological chemical effects relevant to biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem function. Although the FOARAM Act’s mandate for Theme 2 is focused chiefly on organismal and ecological effects of ocean acidification, many of these effects are closely coupled with the influences of ocean acidification on nonliving processes. Thus, one notable gap within this Theme is the lack of attention given to the chemical effects of acidification. Besides a discussion of the influence on element avail- ability to phytoplankton, there is very little presented in Theme 2 about how acidification might affect chemical properties of detrital particles, or processes like sorption or flocculation, which are very important in coastal and open-ocean waters. Sorption of many elements and compounds on natural particles is greatly affected by pH (Millero, 2009). Trace metal spe- ciation, bioavailability and toxicity are influenced by pH. These effects of ocean acidification, which remain poorly understood, could influence the physiologies of individual organisms and the broader ecological responses to falling pH. Thus, the analysis needs to also include the types of chemi- cal effects mentioned above, that is, the characteristics of detrital material important in nutrient cycling and diets (especially of species associated with the detrital particles), the physical processes of flocculation/disag- gregation and their effects on marine particle dynamics. The IWGOA is commended for its recommendations to include paleo- studies and data synthesis. Theme 2 notes that paleo-studies can yield important insights about conditions that caused ocean acidification in the geologic past, and the associated marine biological responses. This sec- tion could benefit from a brief mention of past ocean acidification events and their causes, with references to the key publications. It should also mention the value of Earth system modeling in understanding past ocean

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36 REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL OA RESEARCH AND MONITORING PLAN acidification events. Data synthesis speaks to the importance of using the best, standardized methods in research so that valid comparisons can be made among studies. Understanding the broad biological effects of ocean acidification, including the influences of other environmental factors like temperature on acidification’s impacts, will strongly benefit from promotion of inves- tigations into ocean acidification’s effects on community and ecosystem structure and function. Studies done in the laboratory or in the field using mesocosms may be inadequate for making predictions of effects of acidification on natural ecosystems and communities. In large measure, a primary shortcoming of controlled (laboratory or mesocosm) studies is that, by focusing on only pH (and pH-related variables in the carbonate system), the influences of other factors like rising temperature and eutro- phication that can influence responses to acidification may be missed. Whereas it is commonly difficult to tease apart effects of, say, falling pH and rising temperature, field studies of natural ecosystems that examine the full spectrum of environmental changes are needed to generate realis- tic understandings of global change and to support predictions of future shifts in community and ecosystem structure, many of which may have important socioeconomic consequences. The understanding and monitor- ing of ecosystem responses to ocean acidification are still in their infancy, and the Strategic Plan includes an appropriate emphasis on expansion of this research topic An additional balancing of research approaches is required when decisions are made about the types and numbers of different species to be studied. The Strategic Plan recognizes this point when it contrasts empha- sis on breadth versus depth of focus (i.e., the distinction between studies of “an expanding list of species rather than focusing resources on in depth studies of a narrow group of species”). In reality these two approaches are driven by different questions. “In-depth” analyses of single species are needed to elucidate the basic physiological and molecular mechanisms involved in stress from and adaptation to acidification. This mechanistic analysis is critical for elucidating the exact nature of physiological perturbation from acidification and other stressors related to global change. Examination of an “expanded list of species” will of course be needed to evaluate interspe- cific differences in effects of ocean acidification, to allow predictions of effects at the community and ecosystem levels of biological organization to be developed. In particular, comparative studies will be important to examine the difference in responses among closely related species. For example, wide differences in capacities to regulate pH at sites of calcifica- tion were found among reef-building corals, thereby allowing some, but not all species potentially to reduce the effects of acidification (McCulloch et al., 2012). Different forms of calcium carbonate structural materials

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SPECIFIC ANALYSIS OF THE THEMES OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN 37 (calcite, aragonite and magnesium-rich calcite, in order of increasing sen- sitivity to low pH) are used by different organisms. Therefore, to evaluate the differential sensitivities of calcium carbonate-utilizing species to ocean acidification, comparative studies should take into account the types of carbonate employed by different phytoplankton and animals. Because these two lines of investigation—mechanistic and comparative—are both necessary and, ideally, complementary, there is a need to judiciously allo- cate resources to both types of study and define priorities. In the context of research scope and priorities, the committee believes that there is an imbalance in the emphasis given to different types of physiological processes and the effects that ocean acidification may have on these biological processes. As pointed out above in the context of imbalance in the literature citations, there is an overemphasis on calci- fying organisms. This overemphasis reflects the past research focus on calcification, which is by now the most studied of the impacts of ocean acidification. Although calcification is a critically sensitive physiologi- cal process for many taxa, many other key physiological processes (e.g., nitrogen fixation, photosynthesis, respiration, and behavior) are affected by ocean acidification in ways that affect non-calcifiers as well as calcifiers (Gattuso and Hansson, 2011). A more balanced program that incorporates studies on the lesser known effects of ocean acidification thus is needed. As mentioned above, it is important to evaluate the effects of ocean acidification at all levels of biological organization, and the Strategic Plan concurs with this perspective. The recommendation to study ‘other factors’ in addition to physiological processes could also be expanded to empha- size the need for information that will enable a scaling-up from single spe- cies to population and community levels. The value of measuring organ- isms’ responses to ocean acidification, especially when studies incorporate effects of other factors and environmental stressors, is greatly increased when they provide key parameters for population and community mod- els. Although physiological and behavioral studies can yield insights into the state of health of individual organisms, it is critical to incorporate analyses of rates of growth, survival, and reproduction of individuals, as well as analyses of effects on predation and competition, because data from these measurements can potentially be translated to rates of biomass production and demographic status for populations. Such measures can be essential for developing ecosystem models, including models focused on fisheries-related issues of socioeconomic importance. This Theme does a comprehensive job of outlining sets of 3- to 5-year and 10-year goals for the National Ocean Acidification Program. The discussion of goals reflects a good summary of proposals found in previ- ous reports and papers. To be consistent with previous reports, however, some of the 10-year goals need to be addressed sooner in the Program. As

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48 REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL OA RESEARCH AND MONITORING PLAN only mitigation techniques discussed in this section of the Strategic Plan are reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and policies that improve the overall health of ecosystems by reducing other stressors (e.g., reduction in fishing catch, habitat restoration, and improvement in water quality). Since the draft of the Strategic Plan was written, relevant additional studies have appeared that begin to estimate socioeconomic impacts of ocean acidification, for example, by estimating impacts on industries such as global shellfish production (Narita et al., 2012) and the U.S. mollusk fishery (Moore, 2011). Both of these studies highlight the need for addi- tional socioeconomic research on the economics of shellfish demand and production under changing ocean conditions. For example, Narita et al. (2012) discuss the importance of measuring the economic impacts on con- sumers and producers that might occur if rising income levels in China and elsewhere lead to an increase in demand for shellfish. While it is true that the number of socioeconomic studies on the impacts of ocean acidification is limited, the Strategic Plan could men- tion the existing social science and interdisciplinary literature more com- pletely and allude to research frontiers and relevant evolving programs. For example, the National Science Foundation is funding a considerable amount of research on decision-making under uncertainty, which has relevance for developing mitigation and adaptation strategies given the uncertain future outcomes of ocean acidification. Another related body of literature is the work in marine ecology, marine conservation, and eco- nomics on measuring the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of marine reserves (e.g., Fox et al., 2012 and citations therein), which represent one potentially important conservation tool in the ocean acidification adapta- tion toolbox. Whereas the goals presented in Theme 5 are consistent with the FOARAM Act, their wording does not easily translate into measurable metrics that could be used to assess the progress of the forthcoming implementation plan (e.g., the use of verbs such as ‘support’, ‘encour- age’, and ‘foster’). In addition, the way the goals are ordered (short- vs. long-term) is inconsistent with how rigorous research on decision-support tools is undertaken (e.g., Levin et al., 2009). As the Strategic Plan currently states, scoping discussions with stakeholders and decision-makers (e.g., to understand what questions the integrated models need to address) are long-term goals, while the development of integrated models that will be used in decision-support tools is a short-term goal. Without engaging stakeholders and decision makers in the scoping study, however, there is no guarantee that the integrated models will be useful in a decision- support context. Therefore, reordering the goals in terms of short-term and long-term efforts is needed. Several other components of the analysis presented in Theme 5

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SPECIFIC ANALYSIS OF THE THEMES OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN 49 require clarification, expansion, and/or correction. We briefly discuss these below and offer suggestions for improving the manners in which these issues are discussed. Stakeholder groups. Key to the success of socioeconomic efforts tied to ocean acidification is identification of, and then, effective interactions with the relevant stakeholder groups. This issue is brought up in Theme 5, but requires further development. The subsection on identifying stake- holder groups needs to be explicitly tied to the National Program Office and the actions described in Theme 6. Mitigation. The section highlights how gross domestic product (GDP) is a useful summary statistic of economic impacts. That is correct for mar- ket goods and services, but GDP is woefully inadequate for measuring the totality of ocean acidification impacts given that many of them occur outside of markets (e.g., conservation of marine species). If Theme 5 is to have this discussion, it needs to be expanded to discuss the role of green accounting, which factors environmental costs into the overall financial consequences of economic activities (e.g., Boyd and Banzhaf, 2007). The subsection on mitigation also needs to discuss how Marine Pro- tected Areas (MPAs) and Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) pro- grams can be used to measure the socioeconomic and ecosystem impacts of ocean acidification, and if there is a potential to use information from MPAs and LTERs in the development of strategies. The discussion of mitigation also ought to consider the potential for research around the socioeconomic and ecological costs and benefits of geo-engineering. Human Adaptation. The discussion could be enhanced by a set of socioeconomic research questions that need to be addressed. For instance, as discussed above, there is a need to undertake research to understand whether the current regulatory frameworks are creating incentives for maladaptive behavior. To help readers understand the breadth of impor- tant research that is needed on developing adaptation strategies, addi- tional examples beyond hatchery operations would be valuable (e.g., conservation of marine species). In summary: A reaffirmation about the interdependence and the time- frames of basic natural science and social science and interdisciplinary research is needed. An explicit statement in the Strategic Plan is needed that explains that social science research should not be delayed until natural science research has brought problems into focus. Social sci- ence research, informed by natural science, can help the nation to better prepare for the effects of ocean acidification. Furthermore, as empha- sized above, prioritization of the program’s natural science goals can be informed by societal and socioeconomic research needs. The social science research agenda on ocean acidification needs to be expanded to highlight

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50 REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL OA RESEARCH AND MONITORING PLAN the important and critical roles of this research for not only measuring impacts but also for assessing mitigation and adaptation policies and regulations. The contributions of research in associated disciplines (for example, conservation biology and decision making in the face of uncer- tainty) need to be incorporated into the broader analysis given in this Theme. THEME 6:  EDUCATION, OUTREACH, AND ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY ON OCEAN ACIDIFICATION Theme 6 is one of two additions (along with Theme 7) that the IWGOA made to the five Program Elements given in the FOARAM Act. However, even though the FOARAM Act did not include an explicit Program Ele- ment focused on the issues treated in Theme 6, the Act does state on pages 3 and 4 that there is a need to “facilitate communication and outreach oppor- tunities with nongovernmental organizations and members of the stakeholder community with interests in marine resources.” The committee views this requirement as an important component of a National Ocean Acidification program for several reasons. As stated on page 6 of the Strategic Plan, the two additional Themes are “inherent to the successful implementation of the plan,” (i.e., they are critical to attaining the FOARAM-mandated objec- tives of the first 5 Themes). On page 47 of the Strategic Plan, the need for Theme 6 is stated as follows: “Progress on an ocean acidification implementa- tion plan hinges on garnering support from key stakeholder groups. That support requires an understanding of ocean acidification that can be achieved by outreach and engagement.” Overall, the committee believes that the analysis given in Theme 6 does an excellent job of emphasizing what needs to be done in “educa- tion, outreach, and engagement strategy” in the face of the challenges in communicating science to a broad public audience. The existing players in education and outreach are listed (but with a few key omissions; see below) and a strategy is outlined for identifying important new linkages and collaborations, both nationally and internationally. The development of programs will be iterative and monitored over time and will involve a pivotal role for the National Program Office (see below). Therefore, attain- ing the goals of Theme 6 seems possible if adequate funding is available. It will be important to engage the social scientists as part of implementing the education and outreach component. Here, private foundation support might be crucial for supplementing governmental funding. The development of Theme 6 strikes the committee as having a good balance between a presentation of basic strategies, which is the key role of the Strategic Plan, and offering suggestions for specific implementations. This is a difficult balance to achieve, but this section of the Strategic Plan

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SPECIFIC ANALYSIS OF THE THEMES OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN 51 has done a commendable job of presenting some concrete implementation materials as well as outlining a good complement of basic strategies. The challenges in reaching the goals of Theme 6 are succinctly sum- marized in the Strategic Plan,3 where it is emphasized that, “. . . interest in, and appreciation for, science in the United States is extremely low.” Much of the remainder of the discussion in Theme 6 outlines strategies for overcoming the challenges inherent in effectively communicating a topic that the public will almost certainly find difficult to understand. Unlike the changes in temperature, shifts in rainfall patterns/intensities, and increasing storm intensity that may accompany global change, decreases in oceanic pH are difficult to see or feel directly. Moreover, discussions of acidity that appropriately utilize the pH scale preferred by marine chem- ists are apt to befuddle a lay audience. Thus, the challenges in educating and involving the broader public in ocean acidification-related issues and activities are substantial. One approach for catching the broader commu- nity’s attention may be to familiarize the public, as well as Congress and relevant federal and state agencies, with the socioeconomic consequences of ocean acidification (see Theme 5). This type of education could allow the effects of ocean acidification to be appreciated as having immediate human relevance, including economic consequences. The National Ocean Acidification Program via the National Program Office is slated to play a major role in addressing the tasks described in Theme 6. It seems beneficial to develop and integrate education and outreach effort at the Program level to reduce redundancy and to engage education professionals and social scientists. The Program Office can serve as a centralized clearing house for communication in the arena of education and outreach, and serve as a principal point of contact for up- to-date, scientifically valid information. For example, a centralized web portal managed by the Program Office is proposed.4 This asset could be of broad importance in education/outreach efforts and serve as a credible source of information for anyone interested in ocean acidification. It could be an especially effective vehicle for providing educational content and for evaluating the success of different educational and outreach efforts (e.g., by including a “What works and what does not work?” type of blog, where educators, journalists, and others could share experiences or ideas). Ongoing evaluation of the education and outreach programs will be criti- cal for ensuring that they provide materials that are accurate, up-to-date, and accessible to a wide spectrum of audiences with diverse backgrounds, and that they take advantage of the evolving manners in which informa- tion is exchanged (e.g., via social media). Lastly, a centralized web portal 3  IWGOA, pg. 47. 4  IWGOA, pg. 48-49.

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52 REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL OA RESEARCH AND MONITORING PLAN should include links to other scientifically credible websites that present the science of ocean acidification and global change science more broadly. The committee believes it is appropriate to include in the Strategic Plan (within Theme 6) a brief discussion regarding the attention that needs to be given by educators to the way in which CO2-induced changes in acidity are discussed. Use of the terms acid and acidity in discussions of ocean acidification can be misleading. Except in cases such as natural CO2 vents like those near Ischia, Italy, the entry of CO2 into the ocean does not actually make the ocean acidic in the sense used by chemists. It will be necessary—but truly challenging—to familiarize the public with the pH scale for expressing how a change in the amount (concentration) of the acidifying factor in question, the hydrogen ion (proton; H+), is affected by adding CO2 to seawater. One important omission exists in Theme 6: Communicating informa- tion to news/wire services (U.S. and international) is not discussed. This is one important way of getting the word out to a broad audience, and the National Program Office’s web portal could play a key role in this endeavor. The committee suggests that this omission be addressed by the Strategic Plan, to ensure that information on ocean acidification is com- municated in as broad and an effective way as possible. Coordination and integration with other existing education/outreach programs is a central focus of Theme 6. This is an important goal, in view of the variety of target audiences and the diversity of governmental and nongovernmental entities that will be involved in communicating ocean acidification issues in both the U.S. and abroad. Box 10 in the Strategic Plan, which provides a list of “programs and organizations with existing education and outreach initiatives,” represents a helpful and extensive list of programs and organizations involved in global change issues, includ- ing ocean acidification. The committee believes a major omission from this particular list is the effort being made by public aquariums, museums, and zoos to provide high quality, publically accessible environmental education. For example, U.S. zoos and aquaria receive over 175 million visitors annually, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums reports that 94% of those visitors feel that such organizations teach children about how people can protect animals and the habitats they depend on (AZA website, 10/2012). They have already been coordinating efforts on climate change education.5 These outreach efforts need to be recognized and the National Ocean Acidification Program could approach this climate change collaboration for its outreach effort. The Strategic Plan’s section on Engaging Stakeholders or Linking to Existing Programs and Organizations 5  http://www.aza.org/Climate-Change-Education-Initiatives/.

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SPECIFIC ANALYSIS OF THE THEMES OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN 53 could be updated with a reference to the EPOCA Reference User Group6 and the California Current Acidification Network.7 These two programs could serve as models and ways to leverage efforts within the National Ocean Acidification Program. Theme 6 emphasizes the international nature of education and out- reach, and the proposed efforts therein to develop international collabo- rations all seem reasonable, although lacking in detail. Box 10 lists eight international programs (along with supporting scientific organizations and NGOs) with potential to make strong contributions in this arena. Public aquaria, museums, and zoos in other nations would be appropriate additions to consider as potential international partnering organizations. Whatever the partnering organizations happen to be—and the Strate- gic Plan indicates that this will be an evolving group whose numbers and responsibilities will change as needs for ocean acidification education and outreach change—the fact that the proposed National Program Office will coordinate collaboration efforts is an important aspect of the Plan. This sort of centralized coordination and communication will work against redundancy and help the various participants in the United States and abroad learn from one another. An important aspect of outreach and edu- cation is to ensure knowledge transfer to the applied arena where policy issues related to mitigation and adaptation are developed. A centralized and highly credible source of information is likely to be extremely valu- able in this context. In summary: The committee commends the IWGOA for adding education and outreach as a separate Theme of the Strategic Plan and for presenting a well-balanced discussion of the needs and goals for ocean acidification education. The committee noted two omissions that merit attention: A dis- cussion of (1) outreach efforts to the news media and (2) ways to engage public aquaria, museums, and zoos, which enjoy a high level of credibility with the public and could be a major asset in ocean acidification educa- tion and outreach. THEME 7:  DATA MANAGEMENT AND INTEGRATION Although “Data Management and Integration” is not a specific Pro- gram Element in the FOARAM Act, the Act states that a Joint Subcom- mittee on Ocean Science and Technology (JSOST) [now SOST] of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) shall coordinate Federal activities on ocean acidification. One of SOST’s duties is to “establish or 6  http://www.epoca-project.eu/index.php/what-do-we-do/outreach/rug.html. 7  http://c-can.msi.ucsb.edu.

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54 REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL OA RESEARCH AND MONITORING PLAN designate an Ocean Acidification Information Exchange to make information on ocean acidification that is developed through or used by the interagency ocean acidification program accessible through electronic means, including information that would be useful to policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders in miti- gating or adapting to the impacts of ocean acidification.” Thus, SOST is tasked with developing a strategic plan for federal research and monitoring on ocean acidification that will provide, among other things, a description of planned data collection and database development activities. IWGOA is to be commended for adding this Theme to the Strategic Plan, as it treats a number of critical functions. The Plan addresses the main requirements of the above legislation with a breadth of coverage that is quite comprehensive. Key topics such as data access frameworks, web portals, availability of data, sensor infor- mation, metadata and archival data are all addressed. However, while the general scope is appropriate, there is insufficient detail in addressing some of the important elements associated with the FOARAM Act’s man- date. We discuss these limitations and offer suggestions for strengthening the Strategic Plan below. The committee finds that Theme 7 does not explicitly address what information or data will be made available to policymakers and other stakeholders, in addition to the traditional data archives used by research- ers. The FOARAM Act requests an “information exchange,” not just a data archive. Creative procedures will need to be developed for extracting and sharing data once it is compiled. Nothing in the FOARAM Act defines the explicit roles of NOAA, NSF or NASA in contributing to the tasks related to data management and integration; the Strategic Plan also does not address this issue. Con- sidering the likely difficulty in integrating agency activities, attention to clarifying these roles is needed. A successful ocean acidification research program will require a data delivery system that allows everyone access to sufficient metadata to enable accurate integration of disparate data and essential documentation. Much of Theme 7 addresses archiving of traditional physical and chemical environmental data, an activity that the scientific community is familiar with. However, the National Ocean Acidification Program will be addressing the effects of ocean acidification on biology, chemistry, and socioeconomic issues; thus, datasets will need to be included and made available from disparate research on, for example, animal behavior, mech- anisms and rates of natural processes, and human impacts and responses. Natural science studies may involve monitoring efforts of natural systems or data gathering from perturbation experiments. Experimental manipu- lation experiments may be performed in the laboratory, in mesocosms, or in the field. Results may involve experimental data as well as modeling

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SPECIFIC ANALYSIS OF THE THEMES OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN 55 activities. Similar considerations apply to data gathered in socioeconomic studies. Currently, methods for archiving and serving these diverse types of data are not well developed in the Strategic Plan, nor is a process out- lined for developing such methods. The Strategic Plan would benefit from outlining a process that can address these questions of methodology and that would bring together natural and social scientists regularly to confer about scale and time frames for data collection and data management. Consistent definitions for measurement variables are needed. Many variables are measured in perturbation experiments, and data are gener- ated for parameters and processes from the molecular scale to the meso- cosm scale. In particular, management of molecular data is not addressed in the Strategic Plan, yet the amount of information generated is huge. Many databases already exist (e.g., http://www.ebi.ac.uk/panda/ Publications/mbd1.html), but unambiguous definitions of many other ocean acidification variables are necessary. It might be beneficial and more efficient to embed ocean acidification data management within an exist- ing data management activity. Whether and how the data management is developed requires additional detail in the Strategic Plan. In any case, the curators of the data collection should work in close collaboration with members of the scientific research community in identifying, adopting and/or developing the requisite data management policies and proce- dures. This coordination is needed across the different Federal agencies involved in the U.S. ocean acidification program, e.g., NOAA, NASA, and the NSF, and with international entities (see below). The Plan rightly highlights the fact that metadata needs must be identified early on. Work has started along these lines as part of a recent, multi-agency initiative (Newton, 2012), and an associated report on data management has been issued (CIMOAD, 2012). Although the Plan dis- cusses data archiving and metadata collection, it leaves out a third and extremely important part of the data management triad: the uncertainty of the data. Methods for archiving and accessing uncertainty estimates asso- ciated with the data are needed, not simply a statement of analytical error. Pivotal to the success of a program for effective archiving and distri- bution of data is the timely availability of data. This critical issue is not adequately addressed in the Plan. Major efforts have been made to com- pile published data on biological responses to ocean acidification (e.g., Nisumaa et al., 2010), and such compilations have proven to be a valuable tool for meta-analyses (Kroeker et al., 2010; Liu et al., 2010). However, key data sets are missing from this compilation, despite recovery efforts by program managers. In summary: Examples of the different types of ocean acidification-related data sets to be managed and integrated need to be stated explicitly in

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56 REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL OA RESEARCH AND MONITORING PLAN Theme 7. The goal to address the requirements and inherent challenges for managing diverse types of data sets needs to be added. New and creative procedures will most likely be needed for handling and disseminating these forms of data. In addition, the Strategic Plan needs to indicate how uncertainty estimates will be incorporated, both in the extracted informa- tion as well as in the archived data. The importance of understanding and reporting data uncertainty is compounded when generating synthesis products (as described previously in Theme 2). The Strategic Plan could be improved by pointing out the need for a mechanism by which explicit, strict requirements for data deposition will be developed and enforced, to ensure that data sets are made available to the broader ocean acidification community in a timely manner. Any new ocean acidification research pro- gram needs to strictly enforce rules concerning data submission. Because of the broad international effort to study ocean acidification, programs for data archiving, management and distribution need to be as consistent as possible across international boundaries. This is essential for ensuring that data sets are utilized in an optimal manner, notably in the types of meta-analyses in natural science and socioeconomic analyses that are certain to be of growing importance in the future. Lastly, contributing to international efforts that facilitate effective and consistent mechanisms for archiving and distribution of ocean acidification data would be an impor- tant goal to add to the Strategic Plan. International efforts, like national efforts, need to work to make ocean acidification data publicly accessible even prior to publication. IN CONCLUSION The committee concludes its analysis of the IWGOA Strategic Plan for Federal Research and Monitoring of Ocean Acidification by reiterating our judgment that the Plan has done a generally excellent job of address- ing the several Program Elements in the FOARAM Act that serve as the principal mandates for developing a comprehensive National Program on Ocean Acidification. The committee intends to offer helpful sugges- tions that will lead to improvements of the Strategic Plan and, thereby, to a more effective National Program for addressing the numerous issues contained under the wide umbrella of ocean acidification. Because these issues span such a broad range of phenomena, includ- ing the inorganic chemistry of seawater, diverse types of biological effects, and potentially large socioeconomic consequences that will require effec- tive adaptation, the National Program meets a critical need for facilitat- ing the integration among the separate disciplines of the natural and the social sciences required to study ocean acidification. Integration among different fields of study will allow appropriate transfers of knowledge

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SPECIFIC ANALYSIS OF THE THEMES OF THE STRATEGIC PLAN 57 across disciplines and help ensure that the discoveries of the natural sciences (chemistry, oceanography and biology) will serve the needs of social scientists who address the economic consequences of acidification and the policy makers who will be instrumental in funding programs in mitigation and adaptation. Conversely, social scientists’ needs for key types of information to allow effective research and policy formulation should inform and guide, as appropriate, efforts in the natural sciences. Communication and integration among disciplines therefore are key to the success of the National Program. Throughout the many types of scientific efforts needed for effec- tive and comprehensive study of ocean acidification, there is a common need for informed prioritization of what is to be done. Criteria need to be established for prioritizing different lines of studies, and decisions on priorities should be done in a continuing and iterative manner, based on degree of success of ongoing programs and the discovery of new informa- tion that may reshape the program’s priorities. Consequently, a common need exists in all lines of investigation of ocean acidification for metrics to evaluate a program’s success. The need for metrics is, in fact, inseparable from the need for continued reexamination of priorities among different programs of study and readjustment of priorities as new insights are obtained. Finally, as stressed throughout our analysis of the Strategic Plan, the scope of the National Program in Ocean Acidification necessitates the establishment of a National Program Office. There is urgency in develop- ing a mechanism for establishing this Office, so that it can be functional from the very start of the National Program. Key decisions that are likely to influence the focus and long-term success of the Program will be made in the earliest stages of planning. Thus, among the several critical roles of the National Program Office is the development of strategies for imple- menting the efforts that will be required to achieve the goals presented in the Strategic Plan. Implementation will require many decisions on (1) the types of research to be pursued (prioritization), (2) how these different research endeavors can best be achieved through efforts of the different collaborating agencies of the Program (coordination), and (3) how suc- cessfully research activities are reaching the Strategic Plan’s goals (metrics for evaluation). The need for effective and cost-efficient cross-disciplinary coordination of research efforts requires a central Program Office that can facilitate interagency cooperation and maintain an ongoing exchange of information that allows the results of the diverse research efforts to be most effectively communicated among different national and interna- tional groups studying ocean acidification. A National Program Office can also help to facilitate the distribution of information to Congress and to the public at large. In a limited funding environment it will be essential to

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58 REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL OA RESEARCH AND MONITORING PLAN inform Congress in a convincing manner of the need for broad studies of ocean acidification. Support by the public will be essential for this effort. Thus, the inclusion in the Strategic Plan of a strong program for education and outreach is wise. Through these wide-ranging activities, the National Program Office can help to implement a powerful and integrated scien- tific program on ocean acidification and assist in the transfer of informa- tion and technology from the program’s research and monitoring efforts to the groups that will be responsible for developing effective programs for enabling society to adapt to the as yet largely unknown consequences of ocean acidification.