• Ocean Acidification: An Emerging Threat to our Marine Environment

      Ni Longphuirt, S.; Stengal, D.; O'Dowd, C.; McGovern, E. (Marine Institute, 2010)
      This report aims to provide a concise overview of the present state of scientific knowledge of ocean acidification and its likely impacts on organisms and ocean ecosystems. This is particularly relevant in the context of the possible implications and ramifications of ocean acidification for Irish marine areas. Discussion on how mankind’s CO2 emissions are changing ocean chemistry; consequences of ocean acidification; ocean acidification as an emerging cause for concern; international policy drivers, strategies and necessary actions; and research and information needs are presented. Ireland’s marine location and extensive marine resources in our shelf seas, Atlantic waters and habitats of the west coast mean we are uniquely positioned to contribute to international scientific efforts to monitor and understand the impacts of ocean acidification. Monitoring and research of key biological, chemical and physical factors in these regions will allow us to determine the current status of Irish Marine waters, the rate of change in the carbonate cycle and the influence of this change on natural communities and ecosystems. The Marine Institute’s SSTI funded Sea Change programme includes a Rapid Climate Change programme. Under this, a two year collaborative project between NUI Galway and Marine Institute ‘Impacts of increased atmospheric CO2 on ocean chemistry and ecosystems’ is developing capabilities for measuring pCO2 fluxes, inorganic carbon chemistry and pH and is initiating baseline measurements of these parameters in coastal and offshore waters. This report summarises the issues and state of knowledge and communicates ongoing monitoring and research needs into acidification.
    • Ocean Energy - Analysis of the Potential Economic Benefits of Developing Ocean Energy in Ireland

      Marine Institute; Sustainable Energy Ireland (Marine Institute, 2005)
      This report examines the potential for harnessing Ireland's ocean energy resources (wave and marine tidal currents) to produce electricity and the associated opportunity to develop an ocean energy industry in Ireland. Existing work, both in Ireland and internationally, suggests that there are opportunities to develop a competitive industrial sector around ocean energy in Ireland. Internationally, the technology is at an advanced experimental stage and there are prospects of commercial production being possible in the near future. However, the key question is whether the potential is sufficient to warrant Ireland engaging in a long-term programme of development. A consultation process undertaken by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI)and the Marine Institute indicated the potential. It also indicated that there are considerable risks. The aims of this study are to identify the potential economic contribution of ocean energy for Ireland and to devise a rational, viable, and economically feasible strategy to promote the development of the sector. This analysis leads to the conclusion that Ireland has an important opportunity to develop an industry, based on ocean energy.