Ocean Acidification Team

The RUCOOL Ocean Acidification Team develops and uses advanced observing technologies to: 1) Address hypotheses related to identifying the drivers, and relative importance of the drivers, of acidification on various time scales; 2) Identify high-risk areas and organisms vulnerable to ocean acidification to enable better management of essential habitats in future, more acidic oceans; 3) Determine natural variability that will provide a framework to better study organism response and design more realistic experiments; and 4) Enhance biogeochemical model robustness.

Members

Grace Saba

Assistant Professor

Travis Miles

Assistant Professor

Liza Wright-Fairbanks

Graduate Student

Ted Thompson

Graduate Student

A GROWING NEED FOR OCEAN ACIDIFICATION

The rapid human-induced increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is associated not only with increasing global temperatures, but also higher rates of absorption of CO2 by the ocean that results in complex chemical reactions ultimately reducing seawater pH and increasing the ocean’s acidity. This process is termed ocean acidification, and it is occurring globally at unprecedented rates. In the coastal zone, acidification is influenced by additional drivers including nutrient loading, productivity-respiration cycles, freshwater inputs, and other coastal processes. Coastal acidification can be highly variable and episodic both spatially and temporally. Acidification can impact several important processes in marine organisms including rates of calcification (building external structures), metabolic physiology, reproduction and development, and indirect impacts through qualitative and/or quantitative changes in food source.

RUCOOL Contributions

Through laboratory and field experiments, we investigate organismal response to individual and synergistic changes in temperature and seawater pH. We also utilize ocean observing technologies (autonomous underwater vehicles or AUVs, sensor development, ship sampling, moorings) to determine natural environmental variability near organism habitats that will provide a framework to better study organism response, design more realistic experiments, and understand potential vulnerability of important economic living marine resources. Through academic-industry partnerships, we developed and integrated deep-sea pH sensors into AUVs called a Slocum gliders. These gliders can be deployed in a variety of ocean systems to track changes in the carbonate system over time and space, identify and quantify drivers of the coastal carbonate system, and aid in the development and improvement of biogeochemical and forecast models.

Ocean Acidification Resources

Wright-Fairbanks, E.K., Miles, T, Cai, W.-J., Chen, B., Saba, G.K. 2020. Autonomous observation of seasonal carbonate chemistry dynamics in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 125(11): e2020JC016505, doi:10.1029/2020JC016505.

Saba, G.K., Wright-Fairbanks, E., Chen, B., Cai, W.-J., Barnard, A.H., Jones, C.P., Branham, C.W., Wang, K., Miles, T. 2019. The development and validation of a profiling glider Deep ISFET pH sensor for high resolution coastal ocean acidification monitoring. Frontiers in Marine Science 6: 664, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00664.

Cross, J.N., Turner, J., Cooley, S.R., Newton, J., Azetsu-Scott, K., Braby, C.E., Canesi, K., Chambers, C., Dugan, D., Goldsmith, K., Gurney-Smith, H., Harper, A., Jewett, L., Joy, D., King, T., Kurz, M., Morrison, R., Motyka, J., Ombres, E., Paguirigan, M., Regula-Whitefield, C.M., Saba, G.K., Silva, E., Smits, E., Vreeland-Dawson, J., Wickes, L. 2019. Building the Knowledge-to-Action Pipeline in North America: Connecting Ocean Acidification Research and Actionable Decision Support. Frontiers in Marine Science 6: 356, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00356.

Goldsmith, K.A., Lau, S., Poach, M.E., Sakowicz, G.P., Trice, T.M., Ono, R.C., Nye, J., Shadwick, E.H., St.Laurent, K.A., Saba, G.K. 2019. Scientific Considerations for Acidification Monitoring in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 225: 106189, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2019.04.023.

Saba, G.K., Goldsmith, K.A., Cooley, S.R., Grosse, D., Meseck, S.L., Miller, W., Phelan, B., Poach, M., Rheault, R., St. Laurent, K., Testa, J., Weis, J.S., Zimmerman, R. 2019. Recommended Priorities for Research on Ecological Impacts of Coastal and Ocean Acidification in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 225: 106188, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2019.04.022.

Saba, G.K., Schofield, O., Torres, J.J., Ombres, E.H., Steinberg, D.K. 2012. Increased feeding and nutrient excretion of adult Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, exposed to enhanced carbon dioxide (CO2). PLoS ONE: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052224.

Hooked on Ocean Acidification Mini-Series sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network (MACAN) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS) | Feb 18, 2021
Grace Saba Ocean and Coastal Acidification in the Mid-Atlantic: the What, the Why, & the Risks
New Jersey Climate Change Resource Center Summer Climate Academy | 2020
Grace Saba Acidification of New Jersey’s Ocean and Coastal Waters
AGU Ocean Sciences – San Diego, CA | February 16-21, 2020
Grace Saba The development and validation of a profiling glider deep ISFET-based pH sensor for high resolution observations of coastal and ocean acidification
OceanObs19, Honolulu, HI | September 16th
Grace Saba The development and validation of a profiling glider deep ISFET-based pH sensor for high resolution observations of coastal and ocean acidification (poster)
Elizabeth Wright-Fairbanks Glider-based observations reveal seasonal carbonate chemistry variability in U.S. Mid-Atlantic shellfishery management zones
Grace Saba The development and validation of a profiling glider deep ISFET-based pH sensor for high resolution observations of coastal and ocean acidification
Grace Saba The Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network (MACAN): Utilizing the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal to Identify Monitoring Gaps for Regional Ocean and Coastal Acidification.
VASG graduate symposium. Glen Allen, VA. | February 2020
Liza Wright-Fairbanks, Grace Saba Glider-based observations of seasonal carbonate chemistry dynamics in Mid-Atlantic shellfishery zones.
Ocean Acidification Community Meeting, Miami, FL. | January 2020
Grace Saba Optimizing Ocean Acidification Observations for Model Parameterization in the Coupled Slope Water System of the U.S. Northeast Large Marine Ecosystem
Ocean Acidification Community Meeting, Miami, FL. | January 2020
Liza Wright-Fairbanks, Grace Saba Glider-based observations reveal seasonal pH and aragonite saturation state variability in coastal U.S. Mid-Atlantic shellfishery zones
EGO/UG2 8th EGO Meeting and International Glider Workshop, Rutgers University, NJ | May 21st – 23rd
Grace Saba The development and validation of a profiling glider deep ISFET-based pH sensor for high resolution observations of coastal and ocean acidification

Data and Visualization Resources

Ocean Acidification Communication

NJ signed an agreement yesterday to join the Ocean Acidification Alliance. This decision was informed by work done by Rutgers – see …

Assistant Professor Grace Saba discusses the value of the Slocum ocean glider and pH sensor technology in the study of ocean acidification. …