Sarah R Cooley

Sarah R Cooley
Ocean Conservancy · Ocean Acidification Team

Ph.D.

About

61
Publications
24,818
Reads
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4,488
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Introduction
My research uses oceanographic and social science data to forecast the total consequences of human-driven changes in the marine inorganic carbon cycle. Anthropogenic changes like ocean acidification will affect not only the marine environment but also the benefits, like economic revenue and protein supply, that marine ecosystems provide to humans. This research increasingly incorporates ecology, sociology, economics, resource management, risk assessment, and decision making under uncertainty.
Education
August 2000 - August 2006
University of Georgia
Field of study
  • Marine Science
August 1995 - May 1999
Haverford College
Field of study
  • Chemistry

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Reviews international and domestic leadership by U.S. States on ocean acidification that took place during the last five years, a period of stagnation of U.S. national climate ambition.
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Developed by World Resources Institute and seven other leading environmental organizations, “Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions: Opportunities for Ocean-Based Climate Action” outlines the best ways countries can use ocean-based action to curb greenhouse gas emissions and better adapt to the impacts of climate change. The paper focuses on...
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Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) levels, from fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, along with agriculture and land-use practices are causing wholesale increases in seawater CO 2 and inorganic carbon levels; reductions in pH; and alterations in acid-base chemistry of estuarine, coastal, and surface open-ocean waters. On the basis of la...
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Ocean acidification is an emerging consequence of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. The full extent of the biological impacts are currently not entirely defined. However, it is expected that invertebrate species that rely on the mineral calcium carbonate will be directly affected. Despite the limited understanding of the full extent of potent...
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Recent research has quantified the contributions of CO 2 and CH 4 emissions traced to the products of major fossil fuel companies and cement manufacturers to global atmospheric CO 2 , surface temperature, and sea level rise. This work has informed societal considerations of the climate responsibilities of these major industrial carbon producers. He...
Article
The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC’s) Paris Agreement—which aims to limit climate change and increase global resilience to its effects—was a breakthrough in climate diplomacy, committing its Parties to develop and update national climate plans. Yet the Parties to the Agreement have largely overlooked the effect of climate cha...
Article
As the ocean observation community expands its research enterprise, it needs to better engage the end users of its data.
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Ocean acidification (OA) describes the progressive decrease in the pH of seawater and other cascading chemical changes resulting from oceanic uptake of atmospheric carbon. These changes can have important implications for marine ecosystems, creating risk for commercial industries, subsistence communities, cultural practices, and recreation. Charact...
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The estuaries and continental shelf system of the United States Mid-Atlantic are subject to ocean acidification driven by atmospheric CO2, and coastal acidification caused by nearshore and land-sea interactions that include biological, chemical, and physical processes. These processes include freshwater and nutrient input from rivers and groundwate...
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The Caribbean and Western Atlantic region hosts one of the world's most diverse geopolitical regions and a unique marine biota distinct from tropical seas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. While this region varies in human population density, GDP and wealth, coral reefs, and their associated ecosystem services, are central to people's livelihoods....
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Coral reefs experiencing ocean acidification (OA) are likely to recover much more slowly from damage caused by acute events such as mass bleaching because OA slows coral reef growth and reproduction. To maintain reefs in a net growth or net-neutral condition, curbing the impact of OA is therefore necessary. A variety of mitigation and adaptation st...
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A quantification of carbon fluxes in the coastal ocean and across its boundaries with the atmosphere, land, and the open ocean is important for assessing the current state and projecting future trends in ocean carbon uptake and coastal ocean acidification, but this is currently a missing component of global carbon budgeting. This synthesis reviews...
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Ocean acidification has the potential to significantly impact both aquaculture and wild-caught mollusk fisheries around the world. In this work, we build upon a previously published integrated assessment model of the US Atlantic Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) fishery to determine the possible future of the fishery under a suite of climate,...
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A quantification of carbon fluxes in the coastal ocean and across its boundaries, specifically the air-sea, land-to-coastal-ocean and coastal-to-open-ocean interfaces, is important for assessing the current state and projecting future trends in ocean carbon uptake and coastal ocean acidification, but is currently a missing component of global carbo...
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In many parts of the world, both wild and cultured populations of bivalves have been struck by mass mortality episodes because of climatic and anthropogenic stressors whose causes and consequences are not always clearly understood. Such outbreaks have resulted in a range of responses from the social (fishers or farmers) and governing systems. We an...
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Reefs and People at Risk Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere put shallow, warm-water coral reef ecosystems, and the people who depend upon them at risk from two key global environmental stresses: 1) elevated sea surface temperature (that can cause coral bleaching and related mortality), and 2) ocean acidification. These global str...
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Ocean acidification has led to detectable changes in seawater chemistry around the world, which are associated with reduced growth and survival of many species. Acute ocean acidification “events” in the Pacific Northwest United States have jeopardized the $270 million, 3,200 jobs/year shellfish aquaculture industry in Washington State, and this has...
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Here, we synthesize conceptual frameworks, applied modeling approaches, and as case studies to highlight complex social-ecological system (SES) dynamics that inform environmental policy, conservation and management. Although a set of " good practices " about what constitutes a good SES study are emerging, there is still a disconnection between gene...
Article
The ocean moderates anthropogenic climate change at the cost of profound alterations of its physics, chemistry, ecology, and services. Here, we evaluate and compare the risks of impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems-and the goods and services they provide-for growing cumulative carbon emissions under two contrasting emissions scenarios. The curr...
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New England coastal and adjacent Nova Scotia shelf waters have a reduced buffering capacity because of significant freshwater input, making the region’s waters potentially more vulnerable to coastal acidification. Nutrient loading and heavy precipitation events further acidify the region’s poorly buffered coastal waters. Despite the apparent vulner...
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Much of the detailed, incremental knowledge being generated by current scientific research on ocean acidification (OA) does not directly address the needs of decision makers, who are asking broad questions such as: Where will OA harm marine resources next? When will this happen? Who will be affected? And how much will it cost? In this review, we us...
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Ocean acidification (OA) is a progressive decrease in the pH of seawater over decades, caused primarily by uptake of excess atmospheric CO2 and accompanied by changes in seawater carbonate chemistry. Scientific studies designed to examine the effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions on global carbon fluxes have also led to the detect...
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Ocean acidification, the progressive change in ocean chemistry caused by uptake of atmospheric CO2, is likely to affect somemarine resources negatively, including shellfish. The Atlantic sea scallop (Placopectenmagellanicus) supports one of the most economically important single-species commercial fisheries in the United States. Careful management...
Conference Paper
In many parts of the world and particularly during the last decades, commercial (harvested or cultured) bivalves have been struck by mass mortality episodes due to climatic and/or anthropogenic stressors whose causes and consequences are not always clearly understood. Such outbreaks resulted in various responses from fishers or farmers. In the pres...
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Ocean acidification is a global, long-term problem whose ultimate solution requires carbon dioxide reduction at a scope and scale that will take decades to accomplish successfully. Until that is achieved, feasible and locally relevant adaptation and mitigation measures are needed. To help to prioritize societal responses to ocean acidification, we...
Article
Global change is occurring now, often with consequences far beyond those anticipated. Although there is a wide range of assessment approaches available to address specific aspects of global change, there is currently no framework to identify what governance responses have worked and where, what has facilitated change, and what preventative options...
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The highly productive fisheries of Alaska are located in seas projected to experience strong global change, including rapid transitions in temperature and ocean acidification-driven changes in pH and other chemical parameters. Many of the marine organisms that are most intensely affected by ocean acidification (OA) contribute substantially to the s...
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This study examines the potential effects of ocean acidification on countries and fisheries of the Mediterranean Sea. The implications for seafood security and supply are evaluated by examining the sensitivity of the Mediterranean to ocean acidification at chemical, biological, and macro-economic levels. The limited information available on impacts...
Book
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T his document presents the highlights of the Frequently Asked Questions about Ocean Acidification (2010, 2012; www.whoi.edu/OCB-OA/FAQs), a detailed summary of the state of ocean acidification research and understanding. The FAQs and this fact sheet are intended to aid scientists, science communicators, and science policy advisors asked to comment...
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Even when environmental data quantify the risks and benefits of delayed responses to rapid anthropogenic change, institutions rarely respond promptly. We propose that narratives complementing environmental datasets can motivate responsive environmental policy. To explore this idea, we relate a case study in which a narrative of economic loss due to...
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Ocean acidification is increasingly recognized as a component of global change that could have a wide range of impacts on marine organisms, the ecosystems they live in, and the goods and services they provide humankind. Assessment of these potential socio-economic impacts requires integrated efforts between biologists, chemists, oceanographers, eco...
Chapter
Ocean acidification is the multidecadal decrease in ocean pH and change in seawater inorganic carbon chemistry caused primarily by uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Global surface ocean mean pH has decreased from 8.2 to 8.1 over the past two centuries; the current pH decrease is about 10-100 times faster than past tr...
Article
Human-driven changes to ocean biogeochemistry affect multiple marine processes and species, thus altering the diverse array of ecosystem services that benefit human societies.Changes in marine biogeochemistry such as pollution, ocean acidification, and deoxygenation often simultaneously affect marine environments and ecosystem services, often inter...
Conference Paper
As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have risen because of human activities, they have also decreased ocean pH and profoundly altered seawater carbonate chemistry. These chemical changes have been observed at time-series ocean monitoring stations around the world.Global ocean models show that the chemical changes will continue in tandem with contin...
Article
Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Program Ocean Acidification Principal Investigators' Meeting; Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 22--24 March 2011 ; Ocean acidification (OA) is the progressive decrease in seawater pH and change in inorganic carbon chemistry caused by uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2). Marine species respond to OA in multiple wa...
Article
Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human industrial activities are causing a progressive alteration of seawater chemistry, termed ocean acidification, which has decreased seawater pH and carbonate ion concentration markedly since the Industrial Revolution. Many marine organisms, like molluscs and corals, build hard shells and skeletons...
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The Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) program is a coordinating body for the U.S. research community that focuses on the ocean's role in the global Earth system, bringing together research in geochemistry, ocean physics, and ecology. With support from its federal sponsors (U.S. National Science Foundation, NASA, and National Oceanic and Atmosp...
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The uptake of anthropogenic CO2 by the global ocean induces fundamental changes in seawater chemistry that could have dramatic impacts on biological ecosystems in the upper ocean. Estimates based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “business-as-usual” emission scenarios suggest that atmospheric CO2 levels could approach 800 ppm...
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Ocean acidification lowers the oceanic saturation states of carbonate minerals and decreases the calcification rates of some marine organisms that provide a range of ecosystem services such as wild fishery and aquaculture harvests, coastal protection, tourism, cultural identity, and ecosystem support. Damage to marine ecosystem services by ocean ac...
Article
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Ocean acidification, a consequence of rising anthropogenic CO2 emissions, is poised to change marine ecosystems profoundly by increasing dissolved CO2 and decreasing ocean pH, carbonate ion concentration, and calcium carbonate mineral saturation state worldwide. These conditions hinder growth of calcium carbonate shells and skeletons by many marine...
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The fresh water discharged by large rivers such as the Amazon is transported hundreds to thousands of kilometers away from the coast by surface plumes. The nutrients delivered by these river plumes contribute to enhanced primary production in the ocean, and the sinking flux of this new production results in carbon sequestration. Here, we report tha...
Article
Ocean acidification, a predictable consequence of rising anthropogenic CO2 emissions, is poised to change marine ecosystems profoundly by decreasing average ocean pH and the carbonate mineral saturation state worldwide. These conditions slow or reverse marine plant and animal calcium carbonate shell growth, thereby harming economically valuable spe...
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1] The Amazon River plume is a highly seasonal feature that can reach more than 3000 km across the tropical Atlantic Ocean, and cover $2 million km 2 . Ship observations show that its seasonal presence significantly reduces sea surface salinity and inorganic carbon. In the western tropical North Atlantic during April–May 2003, plume-influenced stat...
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1] Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity (TA) were measured in the upper 1000 m of the western tropical North Atlantic Ocean (WTNA; study area 3–15°N, 40–59°W) in January–February and July–August 2001. Concentrations of DIC and TA in surface samples (0–10 m) influenced by the Amazon River plume were up to 400 mmol C kg À1 ($20%) low...
Article
Measurement of oxygen use is helpful in determining energy consumption in children with walking abnormalities; however, no statistically valid measurements of nondisabled children have been established using a telemetric system. Data from 94 nondisabled children, ages 5-15 years, were collected using the Cosmed K2 oxygen analysis system. Oxygen cos...

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Project (1)
Project
I(MBER)-ADApT (Assessment based on Description, Responses and Appraisal for a Typology) is a decision support tool to assist marine and coastal decision makers, researchers, managers and local stakeholders to react more efficiently and effectively to the impacts of global change. It uses case studies detailing the perspective of people experiencing the change, offers knowledge-based solutions, synthesises this knowledge into a learning tool, and critically, includes an appraisal of responses. See http://www.imber.info/en/projects/imber/science/working-groups-1/human-dimensions-working-group-hdwg/i-mber-adapt for more details.