Analysis and Cases of 169 Targets under Sustainable Development Goals (119)


The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development covers 17 goals, the 13th of which is “Life Below Water”, namely: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Under this major goal, there are 10 targets, the 14.3 of which is “Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels.”
●Current Situation
The World
The retreat of Arctic sea ice under climate change is the driving force behind the rapid acidification of seawater
An international research team has sounded a new alarm about chemical changes in the western Arctic Ocean because they found that acidity levels have increased three to four times faster than seawater elsewhere. The research team, including Wei-Jun Cai, an expert in marine chemistry at the University of Delaware in the United States, has also discovered a close relationship between the accelerated melting of ice and snow in the region and the rate of ocean acidification. This dangerous combination threatens the survival of plants, shellfish, coral reefs, and other marine organisms, as well as the biological processes of the entire Earth’s ecosystem.
This new study, published in the journal Science on September 30,2022,  is the first analysis of Arctic acidification, including data from more than two decades from 1994 to 2020. Scientists predict that, if not earlier, the Arctic sea ice in this region will no longer be able to survive the increasingly warm summer months by 2050.
Then, due to the retreat of sea ice every summer, the chemical composition of the ocean will become more acidic, and there will be no sustained ice cover to slow or otherwise alleviate this progress. This poses significant life-threatening challenges to a wide variety of marine organisms and other organisms that rely on healthy oceans for survival.
China’s first blue carbon transaction marks the beginning of marketization of marine carbon sinks
Blue symbolizes the sea, and “blue carbon” simply refers to the emission, absorption, and storage of carbon in the marine ecosystem. The academic definition refers to the total amount of carbon in marine and coastal wetland ecosystems. This includes organic carbon deposited on the seafloor, carbon in vegetation and soil, as well as carbon in algae, grasslands, and inter-tidal sediments. Among them, seagrass beds, mangroves, and coastal salt marshes, all in the coastal wetland ecosystem, are three major blue carbon ecosystems. These ecosystems can absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide and store it, so “blue carbon” is also called “marine carbon sinks”.
The first “blue carbon” auction in China was successfully completed in Ningbo, which opened a precedent for the marine carbon sequestration market in China, marking the start of market-oriented trading of marine carbon sinks. In addition, the use of auctions in transactions has an important impact on subsequent market exploration, trading model innovation, and other aspects. At the same time, the marine carbon sequestration trading market is also conducive to promoting economic development and providing new impetus for the development of the marine industry. In addition to market impact, this transaction will also help enhance China’s international influence in environmental protection. As China is currently a major greenhouse gas emitter, actively conducting carbon trading can enhance its international environmental image. It can be seen that the development of “blue carbon” has promoted the improvement of the quality of the marine environment, strengthened the protection of the marine ecosystem, and thus promoted the sustainable development of the marine economy.
The World
Scientists develop deep submergence drone to more accurately monitor ocean acidification
Nearly a quarter of the carbon dioxide generated by human activities is absorbed by the ocean, and complex chemical reactions occur in the process, making its waters more acidic. Rising ocean acidity poses a serious threat to marine life, affecting the viability of coral reefs and shellfish by eroding the calcium carbonate that is part of their unique structure. In addition, research has shown that more acidic oceans may reshape the relationship between predators and prey, interfere with the survival instincts of fish, and dissolve moss marine organisms and even the seabed itself.
Although sensors installed on fixed buoys and ships can measure this impact to some extent, there has been no more accurate measurement method. However, a newly developed deep diving unmanned aerial vehicle is expected to fill this gap. Claudine Hauri, an oceanographer at the University of AlaskaFairbanks, set out in 2018 to address the huge gap in marine carbon dioxide sampling. Hauri and her team transformed the existing Seaglider underwater drone, developed by the University of Washington and commercialized in 2013. The drone can cover thousands of kilometers per voyage, and can operate at sea for several months at a time. It is able to dive to a depth of up to 1,000 meters (3,280 feet).
NMT helps China’s marine biology
Ocean acidification not only threatens human survival, but also affects people’s economic life. ’In the past two years, the Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences has carried out research in marine biology using Non-invasive Micro-test Technology(NMT) (Partly because of the impact of ocean acidification, there were some large and small damages on the lobster shell. NMTwasused to prove that acidification or other factors caused damage to the lobster shell, and results were achieved quite quickly.
Source: Xu-Yue Talk
Xiamen University’s marine acidification ecological response test station
The harm of ocean acidification has become increasingly evident, and many countries are actively exploring countermeasures against the “pathogen” of ocean acidification - excessive CO2 in the atmosphere, such as the “3060” dual carbon strategy proposed by China. When we go to the hospital to see a doctor, the doctor needs to make a diagnosis based on various test results. So, when the ocean gets the “disease” of acidification, who will test and research treatment programs for the ocean? The Facility for Ocean Acidification Impacts Study of Xiamen University(FOANIC-XMU), a so-called Ocean Hospital, is dedicated to this. It is an offshore scientific research platform established by Xiamen University to explore the impact andits mechanism of ocean acidification on marine organisms and ecosystems. It is the first in situ scientific research platform with offshore ocean acidification as its main research direction in China, the first offshore test platform powered by all solar energy in the world, and the largest ocean acidification mesoscale platform in Asia. The test station is equipped with self-designed CO2 enrichment systems, seawater ultrafiltration (0.01 µm) systems, high transmittance TPU suspension culture devices, carbonate system testing devices, and other “magic tools” that can be used to detect ocean acidification.
The spatial information team of Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technologyhas made progress in research on offshore ocean acidification
Chen Jinsong, a research team of the Center for Geospatial Informationof the Digital Institute of the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, has made important progress in the research on acidification of water bodies in the coastal waters of the Great Bay Area with intensive human activities, and published an article entitled “Decadal acidification in a subtropical coastal area under chronic eutrophication” on the Environmental Pollution (IF=8.071), an international mainstream journal in the field of environmental science.
By analyzing the 76,600 sets of on-site water quality monitoring data for 30 years, from 1986 to 2017, by the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department(, it is found that the entire surrounding waters of Hong Kong have experienced severe ocean acidification since 1986. Its acidification rate (-0.0085 ± 0.0069 pH • unit • yr-1) is 4.5 times the global average ocean acidification rate (~-0.0019 pH • unit • yr-1). In addition to the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, the eutrophication of the entire Great Bay Area for many years has led to a decrease in the buffering capacity of water bodies to acidic substances. In particular, the high nitrogen phosphorus ratio (annual average DIN: DIP increased from 15.5 in 1986 to 37.1 in 2017) caused by the inflow of terrestrial water bodies rich in ammonia nitrogen (NH4-N) since 2001 has further exacerbated the acidification of the water bodies in the area. This study reveals a key area of water acidification in coastal waters, and analyzes the inevitable relationship between human activities and ocean acidification from the perspective of eutrophication, providing new ideas and strategies for comprehensive management and improvement of environmental issues in coastal waters.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiated by the United Nations
On January 1, 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including 169 targets, of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force. Countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.