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Ocean acidification is a new field of research in which most studies have been published in the past 10 years. Hence, there are some certainties, but many questions remain. Ocean acidification is also a multi-disciplinary research area that encompasses topics such as chemistry, paleontology, biology, ecology, biogeochemistry, modeling, and social sciences. Furthermore, some aspects of ocean acidification research, for example the carbonate chemistry, are intricate and counterintuitive. For these reasons, the media and the general public find some scientific issues or results confusing.
The U.S. Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) program, supported by the European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA), has compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). These questions were widely distributed to the research community with the request to draft concise replies summarizing current knowledge, yet avoiding jargon. The replies were then subject to an open peer-review and revision process to ensure readability without any loss of scientific accuracy. The response of the community was enthusiastic. In total, 27 scientists from 19 institutions and 5 countries contributed to the whole process.
We do hope that this FAQ list will prove useful and would like to point out that it is an on-going process. Anyone is invited to seek clarification or send comments to Sarah Cooley. The list will be revised periodically using this input.
Joan Kleypas and Richard Feely (OCB) and Jean-Pierre Gattuso (EPOCA), 22 February 2010.