Australia, the United States and China have joined the Europe-based Ocean Acidification Reference User Group, giving its work a truly international focus.
Dr Donna Roberts, a Senior Research Fellow with the ACE CRC, represented Australia at the first meeting of the international group held in Monaco from 2-4 December, 2013.
The group aims to raise awareness of ocean acidification and to ensure that decision makers at the highest level are kept up to date with developments in scientific research.
Dr Roberts is leading the world’s first natural polar CO2 enrichment experiment to assess the vulnerability of Southern Ocean sea floor communities to increasing CO2 emissions and is actively engaged in translating southern polar ocean acidification research outcomes for policy makers in Australia and beyond.
The RUG concept is simple but effective: the group consists of ocean acidification scientists and stakeholders from industry, governmental and non-government organisations to facilitate the flow of key scientific findings. The new international group – known as OA-iRUG – is chaired by Professor Dan Laffoley (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and hosted by the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre. Its work will examine the types of data, analyses and products that are most useful to managers, policy advisers, decision makers and politicians and will ensure these materials are distributed as needed.
OA-iRUG is supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco established the foundation in 2006 to address three major environmental issues of particular concern: climate change, biodiversity and water. His foundation focuses on the Mediterranean Basin (particularly in the vicinity of the Principality of Monaco), the Polar Regions (as privileged indicators of climate change evolutions) and the Least Developed Countries (which are severely impacted by the effects of climate change, the loss of biodiversity and water shortage).
OA-iRUG members include the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (USA), UK Ocean Acidification Programme, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, Federation of European Aquaculture Producers, International Maritime Organization and the Global Ocean Commission.