Sea Action Fund joined forces with 18 other science organizations to ask the US presidential candidates 14 science questions. Democratic candidate Barack Obama specifically addressed ocean acidification in his answer to the ocean health question.
The question asked:
"Scientists estimate that some 75 percent of the world’s fisheries arein serious decline and habitats around the world like coral reefs areseriously threatened. What steps, if any, should the United States takeduring your presidency to protect ocean health?"
Obama’s reponse vis-a-vis ocean acidification:
"We need to enhance ourunderstanding of the effect of climate change on oceans and the effect of acidification onmarine life through expanded research programs at NASA, the National Oceanic andAtmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and theU.S. Geological Survey (USGS)."
All 14 science questions and Obama’s answers are available on the Scientists & Engineers for America website. Evidently the McCain campaign has yet to respond: ask him to do so here.
Obama’s complete response to the ocean health question:
"Oceans are crucial to the earth’s ecosystem and to all Americans because they driveglobal weather patterns, feed our people and are a major source of employment forfisheries and recreation. As president, I will commit my administration to develop thekind of strong, integrated, well-managed program of ocean stewardship that is essential tosustain a healthy marine environment.
Global climate change could have catastrophic effects on ocean ecologies. Protection ofthe oceans is one of the many reasons I have developed an ambitious plan to reduce U.S.emissions of greenhouse gases 80 percent below 1990 by 2050. We need to enhance ourunderstanding of the effect of climate change on oceans and the effect of acidification onmarine life through expanded research programs at NASA, the National Oceanic andAtmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and theU.S. Geological Survey (USGS). I will propel the U.S. into a leadership position inmarine stewardship and climate change research. Stronger collaboration across U.S.scientific agencies and internationally is needed in basic research and for designingmitigation strategies to reverse or offset the damage being done to oceans and coastalareas.
The oceans are a global resource and a global responsibility for which the U.S. can andshould take a more active role. I will work actively to ensure that the U.S. ratifies theLaw of the Sea Convention – an agreement supported by more than 150 countries thatwill protect our economic and security interests while providing an importantinternational collaboration to protect the oceans and its resources. My administration willalso strengthen regional and bilateral research and oceans preservation efforts with otherGulf Coast nations.
Our coastal areas and beaches are American treasures and are among our favorite placesto live and visit. I will work to reauthorize the Coastal Zone Management Act in waysthat strengthen the collaboration between federal agencies and state and localorganizations. The National Marine Sanctuaries and the Oceans and Human Health Actsprovide essential protection for ocean resources and support the research needed toimplement a comprehensive ocean policy. These programs will be strengthened andreauthorized."