Increases of atmospheric CO2 and associated decreases in seawater pH and carbonate ion concentration this century and beyond are likely to have wide impacts on marine ecosystems including those of the Mediterranean Sea. Consequences of this process, ocean acidification, threaten the health of the Mediterranean, adding to other anthropogenic pressures, including those from climate change. Yet in ... comparison to other areas of the world ocean, there has been no concerted effort to study Mediterranean acidification, which is fundamental to the social and economic conditions of more than 400 million people living in Mediterranean countries and another 175 million who visit the region each year.
The MedSeA project addresses ecologic and economic impacts from the combined influences of anthropogenic acidification and warming, while accounting for the unique characteristics of this key region. MedSeA will forecast chemical, climatic, ecological-biological, and socio-economical changes of the Mediterranean driven by increases in CO2 and other greenhouse gases, while focusing on the combined impacts of acidification and warming on marine shell and skeletal building, productivity, and food webs. We will use an interdisciplinary approach involving biologists, earth scientists, and economists, through observations, experiments, and modelling. These experts will provide science-based projections of Mediterranean acidification under the influence of climate change as well as associated economic impacts.
Projections will be based on new observations of chemical conditions as well as new observational and experimental data on the responses of key organisms and ecosystems to acidification, which will be fed into existing ocean models that have been improved to account for the Mediterranean's fine-scale features. These scientific advances will allow us to provide the best advice to policymakers who must develop regional strategies for adaptation and mitigation.