--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
June 24, 2010
Contact: Tatiana Brailovskaya, Director of Communications, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences 207.633.9633 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification: July 6 Bigelow Laboratory Café Scientifique
WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR, ME – Bigelow Senior Research Scientist Dr. Barney Balch will lead a discussion about ocean acidification after screening the 20-minute Natural Resources Defense Council film Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification at the Laboratory’s July 6 Café Scientifique gathering at 6:00 p.m. in the Opera House, 86 Townsend Avenue in Boothbay Harbor.
“It’s predicted that the acidity of the ocean is going to increase by about one and half times by the end of this century. This is going to impact the ability of many marine organisms to make their protective shells,” said Balch. “It’s too soon to tell whether this is a direct result of increased levels of carbon dioxide, but it’s clear that ocean acidification has the potential to profoundly change ocean ecosystems.”
Balch received a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Besides his work on ocean acidification, his research includes biocalcification, bio-optics, ocean color algorithms for satellite remote sensing, and algal viruses.
The Natural Resources Defense Council produced Acid Test “to raise awareness about the largely unknown problem of ocean acidification, which poses a fundamental challenge to life in the seas” and thus, to the overall health of our planet. Core funding for the film was provided by a grant from the Entertainment Industry Foundation. It was directed by Tristan Bayer and Daniel Hinerfeld and originally aired last summer on the Discovery Planet Green channel.
The Laboratory’s Café Scientifique gatherings are informal discussions about scientific issues and society, current research, and the latest news from the field. The Café Scientifique movement began in 1998 in England, and has spread quickly throughout Europe and the United States. There are now over 150 science cafés organized over 42 countries. The Laboratory’s cafés are free, open to the public, and a cash bar is available. The Laboratory’s 2010 Summer Café Scientifique gatherings will be held at 6 p.m. every Tuesday from June 29 through August 24 at the Opera House. The full schedule and program are available online at www.bigelow.org/about/calendar/cafe-scientifique-summer-2010.
An internationally known center for global ocean research, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences conducts research ranging from microbial oceanography -- examining biological productivity in the world’s oceans at the molecular level -- to the large-scale biogeochemical processes that drive interactions between ocean ecosystems and global environmental conditions. These programs have taken Bigelow scientists around the world to every ocean and the polar seas.
Photo: Dr. Barney Balch, in one of the Laboratory’s portable research units. The units are equipped for installation and use on oceanographic vessels and ships of opportunity (ferries, cargo ships, etc.) throughout the world. Photo courtesy of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.