Ocean Acidification Research Center

Ocean acidification (OA) is the result of anthropogenic increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide that is later absorbed by the ocean. This change in ocean chemistry makes the global oceans more acidic. Concerns over increasing acidity in Alaska and how this phenomenon will impact Alaska’s Blue Economy spurred the creation of the Ocean Acidification Research Center (OARC) within the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).

OARC map

Placement of this center in Alaska is critical to the state’s long-term interests because the region will experience the effects of ocean acidification faster and to a greater degree than in lower latitudes due to colder water temperatures, ocean circulation patterns, and highly productive continental shelves. These characteristics act to enhance the transport of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere into the ocean, which may accelerate acidification.

OARC Objectives

  1. Conduct research into OA, particularly in Alaskan waters, to determine the intensity, duration, and extent of OA around the state. We achieve this by long-term autonomous monitoring and modeling efforts, conducting field observations in highly sensitive areas, and quantifying physiological responses of vulnerable and commercially viable species.
  2. Serve the public and private sectors by providing access to OARC-generated data, training students and citizen scientists, and accepting seawater samples to be run at cost.

Thank you for your support!

We are very thankful to our funders for their support, including the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Coastal Marine Institute (CMI), Cooperative Institute for Alaska Research (CIFAR), National Atmospheric and Space Administration (NASA), National Park Service (NPS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Science Foundation (NSF), North Pacific Research Board (NPRB), Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center (PCCRC), and the State of Alaska.


Here are a few helpful links to learn more information about OA research in Alaska and around the globe.

For more information, please email oarc@cfos.uaf.edu or tweet us at @OARC_Alaska.


Check out the new paper we coauthored with lead author Natalie Monacci on a decade of

marine inorganic carbon chemistry observations in the northern Gulf of Alaska.

Alaska’s longest continual ocean acidification mooring, nicknamed “GAKOA” (for Gulf of Alaska Ocean Acidification), just turned ten years old.
We are accepting proposals from current UAF students to add ocean acidification (OA) measurements to their research projects. Proposals are due March 15, 2024. View the ’Samples of Opportunity’ site for more information. 
The Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT) is out for 2022! The OARC contributes to this global data product to be used for quantification of ocean CO2 uptake. Check out the release poster highlighting the alarming decline in the ocean CO2 observing capacity.
Learn about the  spring 2022 mooring cruise for the Ecosystems and Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations in this 4-part series. Watch the video.
Read the 2022 CICONES magazine article, Fourth Time's a Charm, about the recovery of surface monitoring equipment in the Bering Sea before the sea ice advanced.

The Coastal Ocean Data Analysis Product in North America (CODAP-NA) is out!  Check out the new paper we coauthored with lead author Liqing Jiang on inorganic carbon, oxygen, and nutrients on the North American ocean margins.

OARC Lead Natalie Monacci presented the "Ocean Acidification Research Center" as part of the 2021 Arctic Research Open House. 

View the video on YouTube.