Most people have never heard of ocean acidification—the process by which the ocean becomes more acidic as it absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) that has been emitted into the atmosphere. Visualizing the impact to marine is challenging. As a solution, Stanford researchers have produced a virtual underwater ecosystem to allow you to observe firsthand what coral reefs are expected to look like by the end of the century if we do not curb our CO2 emissions.
With funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford researchers have designed an educational experience that makes the impossible possible: watch the ocean absorb invisible CO2 molecules, a coral reef degrade and marine life disappear as the ocean acidifies. Each step in the journey is based on decades of marine science research.
For more information about ocean acidification and learning in Virtual Reality, here are some additional resources:
COMMUNITY DYNAMICS AND ECOSYSTEM SIMPLIFICATION IN A HIGH-CO2 OCEAN: http://www.pnas.org/content/110/31/12721.full.pdf
THE USE OF IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL REALITY IN THE LEARNING SCIENCES - DIGITAL TRANSFORMATIONS OF TEACHERS, STUDENTS, AND SOCIAL CONTEXT: http://vhil.stanford.edu/mm/2008/bailenson-IVE-learning.pdf
EXPERIENCING NATURE - EMBODYING ANIMALS IN IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS INCREASES INCLUSION OF NATURE IN SELF AND INVOLVEMENT WITH NATURE: http://vhil.stanford.edu/mm/2016/08/ahn-jcmc-experiencing-nature.pdf
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ASSOCIATION (NOAA) INFORMATION: http://pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/Ocean+Acidification
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