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As the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, the oceans become more acidic. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has already developed a 5-year interdisciplinary program on ocean acidification, which includes establishing coral reef monitoring stations, research on the physiological responses of various organisms to increasing ocean acidity, modeling of ocean acidification and its socioeconomic effect, and development of technology for measuring and monitoring carbon dioxide in the oceans.

NOAAs Science Advisory Board (SAB) is considering whether the agency's plans are appropriate for addressing the requirements of both science and national policy and whether NOAA should be the lead agency in this area of research.