UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS

New podcast explores solutions to warming ocean

Ocean acidification and ocean warming are growing concerns of coastal Alaskans and the seafood industry. As carbon dioxide levels rise in the atmosphere due to fossil fuel burning and deforestation, about one-third gets absorbed by the ocean, making it more acidic. The ocean also absorbs most of the excess heat resulting from greenhouse gas emissions, leading to rising ocean temperatures. These changes pose threats to marine life and ecosystems, as well as the people who depend on them. A new six-episode podcast called “The Future Ocean: What can carbon policy do for the ocean and our fisheries?” explores how policy solutions such as carbon emissions pricing might make a difference.

windmills on hillside overlooking water in Kodiak, Alaska
Wind turbines on Pillar Mountain in Kodiak, Alaska. Photo by Marion Owen.

Sponsored by the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network, a program of the Alaska Ocean Observing System, The Future Ocean podcast features conversations with marine scientists, economists, and leaders in Alaska’s clean energy transition. The first two episodes explore what is happening in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, how ocean acidification works, and why Alaska may be one of the first places significantly impacted by acidification. Episodes three through five delve into carbon pricing policies and how these might incentivize renewable energy development, replacing fossil fuel systems and driving down carbon emissions. The final episode discusses progress being made in Alaska to transition to more renewable energy sources.

“The Future Ocean podcast offers a way to engage more Alaskans in the conversation about the changes happening in our marine ecosystems, and potential solutions that are on the table,” said Darcy Dugan, Director of the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network. “We encourage coastal Alaskans, everyone in the seafood industry, and anyone concerned about the future ocean to listen.”

Moon rising over harbor with boats
Moonrise over St. Herman Harbor in Kodiak, Alaska. Photo by Marion Owen.

Listeners will learn about scientists and communities who are monitoring ocean conditions and researching the effects of ocean acidification on marine life. They will also hear economists and policy experts discussing different policy options, how they work, and what actions are already taking place regionally and nationally that could slow the impacts of climate change on Alaska’s ocean resources. 

Given Alaska’s multi-billion-dollar seafood industry, and the state’s reliance on fish, marine mammals, shellfish and other ocean products for subsistence, the threat of ocean acidification in Alaska is profound. The Future Ocean podcast offers a chance for Alaskans to learn more about these issues.

Visit The Future Ocean podcast website to listen, and find related resources and information on the topics discussed.

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