Contributor: Brad Warren, Director, global ocean health program, NFCC
Dick Feely of NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Lab helped put ocean acidification on the map—and he has worked tirelessly to help many of us learn to understand this problem. Lately, Feely and other researchers are widening the lens: a high-CO2 ocean brings a suite of simultaneous challenges, including warming, hypoxia, acidification, and toxic algae blooms. His report (https://westcoastoa.wordpress.com) from the 2016 West Coast Ocean Acidification Research Cruise highlights the continuing acceleration and expansion of seawater conditions that are now considered "corrosive" to many key species. When this cruise started, the infamous hot water "blob" had dissipated, but researchers still found warmer-than-normal temperatures and a spreading region of corrosive waters. They got a look at hazardous algae that appear to thrive in these conditions. They also took extensive samples of copepods and pteropods (important planktonic prey for many fish) that should permit a close examination of how well these delicate critters are holding up under the strain.