IAEA-supported research examines impact of ocean acidification on coastal societies

Ocean acidification will affect coastal communities, particularly those that rely exclusively on small scale fisheries, a four-year study supported by the IAEA found. With populations around the globe dependent upon the sea for their livelihood and primary source of food, ocean acidification — a consequence of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions — could have serious societal and economic consequences for them.

Bill to protect ocean’s health moves to Governor

AB 2139 designed to tackle ocean acidification and impact on ecosystems

SACRAMENTO —  Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Carpinteria, is urging environmentalists and government officials to work together and find solutions to the growing problem of ocean acidification and its impact on the health of our oceans.

Williams’ AB 2139 was approved on Tuesday by the Assembly and now moves to the Governor for his signature.  Scientists believe that high acid content in oceans can hinder species growth, which affects other species in the predator/prey relationship, resulting in cascading changes in the ecosystem.

Continue reading ‘Bill to protect ocean’s health moves to Governor’

Withstanding multiple stressors: ephyrae of the moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita, Scyphozoa) in a high-temperature, high-CO2 and low-oxygen environment

Global change is affecting marine ecosystems through a combination of different stressors such as warming, ocean acidification and oxygen depletion. Very little is known about the interactions among these factors, especially with respect to gelatinous zooplankton. Therefore, in this study we investigated the direct effects of pH, temperature and oxygen availability on the moon jellyfish Aurelia aurita, concentrating on the ephyral life stage. Starved one-day-old ephyrae were exposed to a range of pCO2 (400–4000 ppm) and three different dissolved oxygen levels (from saturated to hypoxic conditions), in two different temperatures (5 and 15 °C) for 7 days. Carbon content and swimming activity were analysed at the end of the incubation period, and mortality noted. General linearized models were fitted through the data, with the best fitting models including two- and three-way interactions between pCO2, temperature and oxygen concentration. The combined effect of the stressors was small but significant, with the clearest negative effect on growth caused by the combination of all three stressors present (high temperature, high CO2, low oxygen). We conclude that A. aurita ephyrae are robust and that they are not likely to suffer from these environmental stressors in a near future.

Continue reading ‘Withstanding multiple stressors: ephyrae of the moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita, Scyphozoa) in a high-temperature, high-CO2 and low-oxygen environment’

Two views of ocean acidification: which is fatally flawed?

Phil Williamson responds to “Ocean acidification: yet another wobbly pillar of climate alarmism” by James Delingpole, published in The Spectator 30 April 2016


James Delingpole considers that ocean acidification is a scare story that is not only ‘fatally flawed’ but also grossly over-hyped by climate alarmists, for political reasons.  To give credibility to these views, information and quotes are given from four scientists (Patrick Moore, Mike Wallace, Matt Ridley and Craig Idso).  However, those sources are unreliable: none has relevant marine expertise, and the evidence they provide is either inaccurate or incorrect.  Three other scientists (Howard Browman, Richard Feely and Christopher Sabine) who do have direct research experience are either mis-quoted or their competence is dismissed.  The wider scientific literature is not considered.  Overall, Delingpole’s arguments are based on exaggeration, false dichotomy, deliberate selectivity and bravado assertion: almost everything that could be factually wrong, is wrong.  Specific errors, with other comments, are identified below for each paragraph of the original text.  Example references are also given, as links; many other supporting sources could also be cited.

Continue reading ‘Two views of ocean acidification: which is fatally flawed?’

Ocean acidification threatens cod recruitment in the Atlantic

International team of researchers led by GEOMAR finds increased larvae mortality

24 August 2016/Kiel. Increasing ocean acidification could double the mortality of newly-hatched cod larvae. This would put populations of this economically important fish species more and more under pressure if exploitation remains unchanged. For the first time ever, members of the German research network BIOACID have quantified mortality rates of cod in the western Baltic Sea and the Barents Sea under more acidified conditions which the fish may experience towards the end of the century. They integrated their results of two several-weeks long experiments in model calculations on stock dynamics. The various model scenarios showed that the recruitment could decrease to levels of one quarter to one twelfth of the recruitment of the last decades – a strong call for action for fisheries management.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification threatens cod recruitment in the Atlantic’

Climate change vulnerability assessment for the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Ocean acidification is among the stressors assessed in a recently launched NOAA report titled “Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument”.

Continue reading ‘Climate change vulnerability assessment for the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument’

Uncharted waters: an uncertain future for Dungeness crabs on U.S. West Coast (text and video)

E360 Video Contest Award Winner

Dungeness crab is one of the most valuable commercial fisheries on the U.S. West Coast, worth nearly $170 million in Washington, Oregon, and California in 2014. These crabs are also a vital part of the region’s marine food web, their larvae serving as prey for numerous fish species.

But as acidifying waters alter the chemistry of the world’s oceans, scientists and fishermen are just beginning to understand how this economically, culturally, and ecologically important species will be impacted.

The five-minute video “High Hopes: The Future of the Dungeness Crab” — winner of the 2016 Yale Environment 360 Video Contest — focuses on California fishermen reliant on the species for their livelihoods.

Continue reading ‘Uncharted waters: an uncertain future for Dungeness crabs on U.S. West Coast (text and video)’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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