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  • Association AffairsPacific Science Association

PSA Updates

New PSA Task Force on Marine Acidification

The Pacific Science Association (PSA) is establishing a Task Force on Marine Acidification in the Pacific (TAFMAP).

Scientific data collected over many years are conclusive that oceanic absorption of atmospheric CO2 is causing global-scale chemical changes in seawater, making them more acidic (i.e. lowering pH). This natural process is accelerating due to increasing levels of anthropogenic CO2. The average pH of the world's oceans has dropped by about 0.1 pH units since the beginning of the industrial age. If global carbon emissions are not substantially reduced, it is likely that oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon will result in a further drop of 0.3 to 0.7 pH units by the year 2100. A report by the U.K.'s Royal Society (http://www indicates that this degree of change in ocean chemistry has not occurred in hundreds of thousands of years, and probably never on as rapid a timeframe as is currently occurring. Early data is highly suggestive that marine acidification (MA) will negatively impact many marine organisms, ecosystems, and by extension the human societies and economies that depend on them. Given the critical ecological, social, and economic function of oceans in the Asia-Pacific Rim, nowhere is the need for additional research greater than the Pacific region.

TAFMAP will provide an institutional framework and coordination for regional collaborative scientific research to examine the MA issue. The goals of the task force will be to identify knowledge gaps in scientific understanding of the MA phenomenon, including assessment of possible social and economic impacts. TAFMAP plans to produce a report based on a coming TAFMAP session at the 21st Pacific Science Congress in Okinawa in June 2007, that will discuss these various aspects of MA. This document will also be an important source for educating the policy community and public in the region about MA and the potential threat it poses to the marine ecological systems upon which those societies depend.

Please consult the PSA website ( for more information.

New Secure Server Processing for PSA Membership

As of February 2006, PSA offers membership payment via secure server credit card processing. This will make it easier for most of our members, particularly those for whom the previous [End Page 425] system of personal checks and faxes were onerous. The transaction will be processed by PayPal (although this takes place off-screen) and so you may be assured that it is safe and secure. Unfortunately, PayPal only accepts payments from certain countries, and so those with addresses in the Pacific Island nations and territories, as well as Indonesia, Russia, Vietnam, and Philippines will NOT yet be able to use the system. We regret this inconvenience and are working to find a longer-term solution. In the meantime, PSA members in those locations can use the previous fax/mail method, filling out the membership form on the website, and send it to the PSA Secretariat.

Update on the 21st Pacific Science Congress

The open call for symposia and sessions for the 21st Pacific Science Congress continues. Individual scientists and scientific societies are encouraged to contact the Local Organizing Committee and/or the PSA Secretariat if they are interested in doing so (contact: Makoto Tsuchiya at or Burke Burnett at

The overall theme of the Congress is "Diversity and Change: Challenges and Opportunities for Managing Natural and Social Systems in the Asia-Pacific". Currently planned sub-themes and associated symposia include:

  • • Islands in Development (including sessions on Globalization; Health and Development; Agriculture; Tourism; and Building Sustainable Communities

  • • Maintaining Nature's Diversity (with both terrestrial and marine components in sessions on Biodiversity; Natural Resource Management and Protection; Ecosystem Services; Invasive Species; and Fisheries)

  • • Science and Society (sessions on Science Education; Enhancing Institutional Capacity; Media and Science; Science, Society, and Policy; and the Public Funding of Science)

  • • Technology and Sustainable Society (sessions on Energy; Biotechnology; Hazardous Waste)

  • • Sustaining Human Diversity (Indigenous Knowledge; Gender and Science; and Origins and Heritage of Pacific Peoples)

  • • Challenges and...


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