Ship emissions and the use of current air cleaning technology: contributions to air pollution and acidification in the Baltic Sea

The shipping sector is a significant contributor to emissions of air pollutants in marine and coastal regions. In order to achieve sustainable shipping, primarily through new regulations and techniques, greater knowledge of dispersion and deposition of air pollutants is required. Regional model calculations of the dispersion and concentration of sulfur, nitrogen, and particulate matter, as well as deposition of oxidized sulfur and nitrogen from the international maritime sector in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, have been made for the years 2011 to 2013. The contribution from shipping is highest along shipping lanes and near large ports for concentration and dry deposition. Sulfur is the most important pollutant coupled to shipping. The contribution of both SO2 concentration and dry deposition of sulfur represented up to 80 % of the total in some regions. WHO guidelines for annual concentrations were not trespassed for any analysed pollutant, other than PM2.5 in the Netherlands, Belgium, and central Poland. However, due to the resolution of the numerical model, 50 km  ×  50 km, there may be higher concentrations locally close to intense shipping lanes. Wet deposition is more spread and less sensitive to model resolution. The contribution of wet deposition of sulfur and nitrogen from shipping was up to 30 % of the total wet deposition. Comparison of simulated to measured concentration at two coastal stations close to shipping lanes showed some underestimations and missed maximums, probably due to resolution of the model and underestimated ship emissions.

A change in regulation for maximum sulfur content in maritime fuel, in 2015 from 1 to 0.1 %, decreases the atmospheric sulfur concentration and deposition significantly. However, due to costs related to refining, the cleaning of exhausts through scrubbers has become a possible economic solution. Open-loop scrubbers meet the air quality criteria but their consequences for the marine environment are largely unknown. The resulting potential of future acidification in the Baltic Sea, both from atmospheric deposition and from scrubber water along the shipping lanes, based on different assumptions about sulfur content in fuel, scrubber usage, and increased shipping density has been assessed. The increase in deposition for different shipping and scrubber scenarios differs for the basins in the Baltic Sea, with highest potential of acidification in the southern basins with high traffic. The proportion of ocean-acidifying sulfur from ships increases when taking scrubber water into account and the major reason for increasing acidifying nitrogen from ships is increasing ship traffic. Also, with the implementation of emission control for nitrogen, the effect of scrubbers on acidification is evident. This study also generates a database of shipping and scrubber scenarios for atmospheric deposition and scrubber exhaust from the period 2011 to 2050.

Continue reading ‘Ship emissions and the use of current air cleaning technology: contributions to air pollution and acidification in the Baltic Sea’

Quantifying the genetic capacity of California grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) to adapt to ocean acidification

Ocean acidification can reduce survival and growth of marine larvae. However, if
populations have the genetic capacity to adapt and increase their tolerance to low pH levels, then such genetic changes may offset the harmful effects of ocean acidification. I used methods in quantitative genetics to measure the genetic variance and project the potential rate of evolution for low pH tolerance in a nearshore forage-fish: the California grunion (Leuresthes tenuis). I raised grunion larvae across an experimental pH gradient and measured their mortality and growth rates over a 14-day interval during the early larval stage. My results indicated that low pH levels significantly decreased the survival rates of grunion larvae overall. Surprisingly, low pH levels did not significantly affect larval growth rates. However, families varied widely with respect to pH tolerance, and many families had similar mortality and growth rates in high and low pH treatments. Quantitative genetic analyses indicated that low pH tolerance had a substantial genetic basis and is highly heritable within grunion populations. These results suggest that populations of California grunion, and possibly other nearshore fishes, may adapt relatively quickly to long-term changes in ocean pH.

Continue reading ‘Quantifying the genetic capacity of California grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) to adapt to ocean acidification’

Ocean warming and acidification alter Antarctic macroalgal biochemical composition but not amphipod grazer feeding preferences

Increased anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 concentrations have resulted in ocean warming and alterations in ocean carbonate chemistry, decreasing seawater pH (ocean acidification). The combination of ocean warming and acidification (OWA) may alter trophic interactions in marine benthic communities along the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Abundant and diverse macroalgae–grazer assemblages, dominated by macroalgae (e.g. chemically defended Desmarestia anceps and D. menziesii) and gammarid amphipods (e.g. Gondogeneia antarctica), occur on the nearshore benthos along the WAP. In the present study, the amphipod G. antarctica and macroalgae D. anceps and D. menziesii were exposed for 39 and 79 d, respectively, to combinations of current and predicted near-future temperature (1.5 and 3.5°C, respectively) and pH (8.0 and 7.6, respectively). Protein and lipid levels of macroalgal tissues were quantified, and 5-way choice amphipod feeding assays were performed with lyophilized macroalgal tissues collected at time zero and following exposure to the 4 temperature-pH treatments. For D. anceps, we found a significant interactive temperature-pH effect on lipid levels and significantly lower protein levels at reduced pH. In contrast, tissues of D. menziesii exhibited significantly greater lipid levels after exposure to reduced pH, but there was no temperature effect on lipid or protein levels. Despite shifts in macroalgal biochemical composition, there were no changes in amphipod feeding preferences. Our results indicate that despite altered macroalgal nutritional quality under OWA, both macroalgae retained their ability to deter amphipod feeding. This deterrent capacity could become an important contributor to net community resistance of macroalgae-mesograzer assemblages of the WAP to predicted OWA.

Continue reading ‘Ocean warming and acidification alter Antarctic macroalgal biochemical composition but not amphipod grazer feeding preferences’

Deal signed to advance fight against ocean acidification

IN MALTA: The Ocean Foundation President, Mr Mark J. Spalding, with S.P.R.E.P Director General, Mr Kosi Latu. Photo: Alexis Valauri Orton.

IN MALTA: The Ocean Foundation President, Mr Mark J. Spalding, with S.P.R.E.P Director General, Mr Kosi Latu. Photo: Alexis Valauri Orton.

 The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P) and The Ocean Foundation (T.O.F) have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding to commit to co-host three workshops on ocean acidification to benefit 10 Pacific Islands.

The signing took place at the “Our Ocean Conference” in Malta.

S.P.R.E.P and TOF have mutual interests in relation to the protection and conservation of the marine environment, particularly in the areas of ocean acidification, climate change, and integrated governance.

The three workshops focus on Ocean acidification capacity building, a two week workshop for science capacity building including peer-to-peer training and full participation in the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (G.O.A-O.N) as well as training on Technology transfer on the G.O.A-ON in a box lab and field study kits.

Continue reading ‘Deal signed to advance fight against ocean acidification’

Acidifying oceans a bad trip for marine ecosystems

A more acidic ocean under climate change threatens to reconfigure entire ecosystems by advantaging some fish species to the detriment of others, a new study has found. The research is one of only a few that go beyond the lab to study how species interactions are changing in nature under more extreme conditions.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide and the University of Hong Kong showed that a higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the oceans, which reacts to turn seawater more acidic, favors common fish species, allowing them to double their populations. But that might also mean the downfall of rarer, subordinate competitors, leading to biodiversity loss and a total restructuring of fish communities, with numerous ecological impacts.

Continue reading ‘Acidifying oceans a bad trip for marine ecosystems’

Exposure to elevated pCO2 does not exacerbate reproductive suppression of Aurelia aurita jellyfish polyps in low oxygen environments

Eutrophication-induced hypoxia is one of the primary anthropogenic threats to coastal ecosystems. Under hypoxic conditions, a deficit of O2 and a surplus of CO2 will concurrently decrease pH, yet studies of hypoxia have seldom considered the potential interactions with elevated pCO2 (reduced pH). Previous studies on gelatinous organisms concluded that they are fairly robust to low oxygen and reduced pH conditions individually, yet the combination of stressors has only been examined for ephyrae. The goals of this study were to determine the individual and interactive effects of hypoxia and elevated pCO2 on the asexual reproduction and aerobic respiration rates of polyps of the scyphozoan Aurelia aurita during a manipulative experiment that ran for 36 d. pCO2 and pO2 were varied on a diel basis to closely mimic the diel conditions observed in the field. Exposure to low dissolved oxygen (DO) reduced asexual budding of polyps by ~50% relative to control conditions. Under hypoxic conditions, rates of respiration were elevated during an initial acclimation period (until Day 8), but respiration rates did not differ between DO levels under prolonged exposure. There was no significant effect of increased pCO2 on either asexual reproduction or aerobic respiration, suggesting that elevated pCO2 (reduced pH) did not exacerbate the negative reproductive effects of hypoxia on A. aurita polyps.

Continue reading ‘Exposure to elevated pCO2 does not exacerbate reproductive suppression of Aurelia aurita jellyfish polyps in low oxygen environments’

Acoustic signal and noise changes in the Beaufort Sea Pacific Water duct under anticipated future acidification of Arctic Ocean waters

It is predicted that Arctic Ocean acidity will increase during the next century as a result of carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere and migration into ocean waters. This change has implications for sound transmission because low-pH seawater absorbs less sound than high-pH water. Altered pH will affect sound in the 0.3−10 kHz range if the criterion is met that absorption is the primary cause of attenuation, rather than the alternatives of loss in the ice or seabed. Recent work has exploited sound that meets the criterion, sound trapped in a Beaufort Sea duct composed of Pacific Winter Water underlying Pacific Summer Water. Arctic pH is expected to drop from 8.1 to 7.9 (approximately) over the next 30−50 yr, and effects of this chemical alteration on the intensity levels of this ducted sound, and on noise, are examined here. Sound near 900 Hz is predicted to undergo the greatest change, traveling up to 38% further. At ranges of 100−300 km, sound levels from a source in the duct may increase by 7 dB or more. Noise would also increase, but noise is ducted less efficiently, with the result that 1 kHz noise is predicted to rise approximately 0.5 dB.

Continue reading ‘Acoustic signal and noise changes in the Beaufort Sea Pacific Water duct under anticipated future acidification of Arctic Ocean waters’


Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,031,368 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book