National Academies Press: OpenBook

Review of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Plan (2013)

Chapter: Appendix C: Acronyms and Terminology

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Acronyms and Terminology." National Research Council. 2013. Review of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/17018.
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APPENDIX C

Acronyms and Terminology

ACRONYMS

ACT

NOAA Alliance for Coastal Technologies

 
BOEM

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

 
CLIVAR

Climate Variability and Predictability Program

CO2

Carbon dioxide

CCSP

Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan

 
DOC

Dissolved organic carbon

DOS

Department of State

 
EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

 
FOARAM

Federal Ocean Acidification Research And Monitoring Act

FOCE

Free Ocean CO2 Experiments

 
GDP

Gross domestic product

GLOBEC

Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics Program

GPRA

Government Performance and Results Act

 
IWGOA

Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Acronyms and Terminology." National Research Council. 2013. Review of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/17018.
×
JGOFS

U.S. Joint Global Ocean Flux Study Program

 
LTER

Long Term Ecological Research

 
MPAs

Marine Protected Areas

 
NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NGO

Non-governmental Organization

NOAA

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOPP

The National Oceanographic Partnership Program

NPO

National Ocean Acidification Program Office

NRC

National Research Council

NSF

National Science Foundation

NSTC

National Science and Technology Council

 
OCMIP

Ocean Carbon-Cycle Model Intercomparison Project

OMB

Office of Management and Budget

OSTP

Office of Science and Technology Policy

 
PIC

Particulate inorganic carbon

POC

Particulate organic carbon

 
SBIR

Federal Small Business Innovation Research Program

SOST

Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology

 
USFWS

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

USGCRP

U.S. Global Change Research Program

USGS

U.S. Geological Survey

TERMINOLOGY

As mentioned in Chapter 2, it is essential that attention be given to the choice and use of terminology. Some of the most fundamental terminology used in the field of ocean acidification can be confusing and lead to improper conclusions. Of particular importance are the terms used to discuss fundamental acid-base relationships. For example, great care is needed to employ acid-base terminology appropriately and, as discussed in Theme 6; an effort should be made to explain this terminology to non-scientists in a way that provides an accurate image of the processes and mechanisms of ocean acidification. The terms “acid” and “acidic” have specific chemical meaning. A reduction in pH does not necessarily mean that the solution in question, e.g., seawater, has in fact become acidic (i.e.,

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Acronyms and Terminology." National Research Council. 2013. Review of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/17018.
×

greater concentration of protons (H+) than hydroxide ion). These terms may best be reserved for those exceptional conditions where seawater can actually become acidic (at CO2 vents or in manipulation experiments). Similarly, the term ‘alkalinity’ is best replaced with ‘total alkalinity’ and explained for nonscientific audiences. Another term that is often used ambiguously due to its different meanings in different disciplines is adaptation. Whenever this term is used, it is essential to be explicit whether adaptation refers to biological adaptation or to human efforts to adapt to ocean acidification (e.g., through infrastructure or policy changes). In addition, ‘mitigation’ in the context of climate change refers to limiting carbon dioxide emissions. Thus, the Strategic Plan could be improved by using the term ‘mitigation’ or ‘to mitigate’ only in the context of lowering carbon dioxide emissions and not in the context of decreasing the impacts of ocean acidification. In that context, ‘adaptation’ is the more appropriate term as it refers to human interventions through changes in infrastructure or management of the marine resources. In Theme 2 terms such as ‘keystone species,’ ‘bellwether species,’ ‘indicator species’ are used seemingly interchangeable, despite the fact that ‘keystone species’ and ‘indicator species’ do not refer to the same concept. The inconsistent use of these terms needs to be reviewed in Theme 2 and confusion can be minimized by using terms more consistently with their original definitions. Given these issues, the committee offers the following definitions for the purpose of this report and suggest versions of these definitions be provided in the Strategic Plan:

Adaptation: “Adjustment in natural or human systems to a new or changing environment that exploits beneficial opportunities or moderates negative effects” (NRC, 2010).

Hydrogen Ion Concentration: “The hydrogen ion concentration in seawater is reported as pH=-lg[H+]” (Riebesell et al., 2010).

Indicator Species: “A species whose presence, absence, or relative well-being in a given environment is a sign of the overall health of its ecosystem. By monitoring the condition and behavior of an indicator species, scientists can determine how changes in the environment are likely to affect other species that are more difficult to study.”1

_______________

1 Indicator species. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/indicator species (accessed: December 14, 2012).

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Acronyms and Terminology." National Research Council. 2013. Review of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/17018.
×

Total Alkalinity: “The total alkalinity of a sea water sample is defined as the number of moles of hydrogen ion equivalent to the excess of proton acceptors (bases formed from weak acids with a dissociation constant K ≤ 10–4.5 at 25°C and zero ionic strength) over proton donors (acids with K > 10–4.5) in 1 kilogram of sample” (Dickson, 1981).

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Acronyms and Terminology." National Research Council. 2013. Review of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/17018.
×
Page 73
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Acronyms and Terminology." National Research Council. 2013. Review of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/17018.
×
Page 74
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Acronyms and Terminology." National Research Council. 2013. Review of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/17018.
×
Page 75
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Acronyms and Terminology." National Research Council. 2013. Review of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Plan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/17018.
×
Page 76
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The world's ocean has already experienced a 30% rise in acidity since the industrial revolution, with acidity expected to rise 100 to 150% over preindustrial levels by the end of this century. Potential consequences to marine life and also to economic activities that depend on a healthy marine ecosystem are difficult to assess and predict, but potentially devastating. To address this knowledge gap, Congress passed the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring (FOARAM) Act in 2009, which, among other things, required that an interagency working group create a "Strategic Plan for Federal Research and Monitoring of Ocean Acidification."

Review of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Plan reviews the strategic plan on the basis of how well it fulfills program elements laid out in the FOARAM Act and follows the advice provided to the working group in the NRC's 2010 report, Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean. This report concludes that, overall, the plan is strong and provides a comprehensive framework for improving our understanding of ocean acidification. Potential improvements include a better defined strategy for implementing program goals, stronger integration of the seven broad scientific themes laid out in the FOARAM Act, and better mechanisms for coordination among federal agencies and with other U.S. and international efforts to address ocean acidification.

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