Ocean Networks Canada Presents: Reaching Blue - Finding Hope Beneath the Surface
About the Film
Reaching Blue is a new documentary from the Salish Sea, on Canada’s Pacific Coast. The film features Ocean Networks Canada, Dr. Kate Moran, and the role of research and technology in understanding our changing oceans. From John Steinbeck’s old research vessel the Western Flyer to residents of coastal communities facing changes head on, Reaching Blue demonstrates how each of us are connected to the ocean, and the importance of ocean research as we move forward.
“A short film that will make you think long and hard about sea change”
–Graeme McRanor, Metro News
Learn more about Ocean Acidification
A decrease in the pH (increase in the acidity) of the Earth’s oceans. Concentrations of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere have been rising at a rapid rate from human fossil fuel consumption (Guinotte and Fabry, 2008). An increase in atmospheric CO2 leads to a rise in oceanic CO2 levels through continual air-sea gas exchange. When CO2 dissolves in the ocean it reacts with seawater and carbonate, leading to a decrease in the amount of available carbonate in the ocean (Emerson and Hedges, 2008).
A decline in the available carbonate ions means that calcifying organisms must expend significantly more energy to build and maintain their hard shells. This will have a direct impact on the marine organisms which build shells composed of either biogenic calcium carbonate or aragonite. These organisms include tropical and cold water corals, mollusks (clams and mussels), echinoderms (sea stars), phytoplankton (foraminifera and coccolithophores), zooplankton (pteropods) and crustose coralline algae. In return, the decline of calcifying organisms can have a substantial impact on the marine ecosystem. Many calcifying organisms are an important source of nutrition and shelter for higher-trophic level organisms (Guinotte and Fabry, 2008).