New Documentary on Ocean Acidification: "A Sea Change"
Ocean acidification is one of the greatest threats to coral reefs and the entire marine ecosystem. As humans release more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, a lot of it—hundreds of billions of tons of it—is being absorbed by the oceans. This higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the ocean water makes it more acidic, which interferes with the shell formation of marine organisms such as corals, marine plankton, and shellfish, threatening the very foundation of the marine food web. A Sea Change, a beautiful new documentary, provides an accessible and engaging introduction to this global predicament.
The first documentary on ocean acidification, A Sea Change follows the journey of retired history teacher Sven Huseby on his quest to discover what is happening to the world's oceans. After reading Elizabeth Kolbert's "The Darkening Sea," Sven becomes obsessed with the rising acidity of the oceans and what this "sea change" bodes for mankind. His quest takes him to Alaska, California, Washington, and Norway as he uncovers a worldwide crisis that most people are unaware of. Speaking with oceanographers, marine biologists, climatologists, and artists, Sven discovers that global warming is only half the story of the environmental catastrophe that awaits us.
A Sea Change is also a touching portrait of Sven's relationship with his grandchild Elias. As Sven keeps a correspondence with the little boy, he mulls over the world that he is leaving for future generations.
Importantly, A Sea Change also sends a message of hope. Experts tell us that we could easily wean ourselves off of carbon-intensive fuel sources by investing a mere two percent of our GDP. Although ocean acidification is already happening, it is not too late to mitigate some of its worst impacts.
The film's message highlights the urgency of CORAL's work to build resilience in coral reef ecosystems. Just as healthy people are better able to fight off diseases, healthy reefs are better able to withstand global stresses like ocean acidification and climate change. With the effects of ocean acidification already apparent, it is critical that we protect threatened coral reef ecosystems from further degradation while we work to reduce the world's carbon dioxide emissions.