Cruising the sub-antarctic for clues to ocean acidification

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said the Sub-Antarctic Zone Sensitivity to Environmental Change voyage will study the effects of increasing carbon dioxide on planktonic organisms – the microscopic plants and animals in the ocean – and the ability of the ocean to continue to process carbon.

“When carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean it triggers chemical reactions that make the ocean more acidic,” Senator Campbell said. “This affects the ability of some planktonic organisms, including certain algae and snail-like pteropods, to form shells. It can also change the chemistry of dissolved nutrients, potentially causing large-scale changes in the structure of marine ecosystems.

Media Newswire, 18 January 2007. Press release.

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