Archive for February, 2008

A simplified model to predict the effect of increasing atmospheric CO2 on carbonate chemistry in the ocean

No abstract available.
Continue reading ‘A simplified model to predict the effect of increasing atmospheric CO2 on carbonate chemistry in the ocean’

Climate secrets of marine snail

It is one of the world’s strangest and smallest sea creatures, growing to no bigger than the size of a lentil.

But the tiny pteropod, with its translucent shell, could help scientists understand how marine animals will respond to the stresses of climate change.

Thousands of the molluscs, also known as sea butterflies because of their wing-like lobes, have been collected from the shallows of Antarctica.

After flying the samples thousands of kilometres to her laboratory at the University of California, Santa Barbara, marine biologist Dr Gretchen Hofmann plans to sequence the animal’s genome.

She hopes to find genes and molecular pathways that might predict how shelled creatures will respond to warmer, more acidic oceans.

Continue reading ‘Climate secrets of marine snail’

CO2 sensitivity of Southern Ocean phytoplankton

The Southern Ocean exerts a strong impact on marine biogeochemical cycles and global air-sea CO2 fluxes. Over the coming century, large increases in surface ocean CO2 levels, combined with increased upper water column temperatures and stratification, are expected to diminish Southern Ocean CO2 uptake. These effects could be significantly modulated by concomitant CO2-dependent changes in the region’s biological carbon pump. Here we show that CO2 concentrations affect the physiology, growth and species composition of phytoplankton assemblages in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Field results from in situ sampling and ship-board incubation experiments demonstrate that inorganic carbon uptake, steady-state productivity and diatom species composition are sensitive to CO2 concentrations ranging from 100 to 800 ppm. Elevated CO2 led to a measurable increase in phytoplankton productivity, promoting the growth of larger chain-forming diatoms. Our results suggest that CO2 concentrations can influence biological carbon cycling in the Southern Ocean, thereby creating potential climate feedbacks.

Continue reading ‘CO2 sensitivity of Southern Ocean phytoplankton’

Ocean CO2 studies look beyond coral

One million tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are dissolved into the oceans every hour, a process that helps maintain the Earth’s delicate carbon balance. But CO2 also makes seawater more acidic, and too much of it can wreak havoc on a marine species. Three sessions at the meeting described how marine scientists are trying to assess the effects of acidification.

Continue reading ‘Ocean CO2 studies look beyond coral’

Ocean acidification threatens underwater ecosystems

Scientists studying Australia’s Great Barrier Reef may have detected the first signs of impact of ocean acidification after finding a sharp cut in growth rates in some corals.

Oceans become acidic when carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by humanity dissolves in sea water. This increase in acidity makes it harder for marine organisms to grow and maintain their shells.

The researchers studied a common coral species called porites, growing along the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland. The species grows into massive reefs and is a key species for reef eco-systems around the world.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification threatens underwater ecosystems’

Sour times

Every silver lining has its cloud. At the moment, the world’s oceans absorb a million tonnes of carbon dioxide an hour. Admittedly that is only a third of the rate at which humanity dumps the stuff into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, but it certainly helps to slow down global warming. However, what is a blessing for the atmosphere turns out to be a curse for the oceans. When carbon dioxide dissolves in water it forms carbonic acid. At the moment, seawater is naturally alkaline—but it is becoming less so all the time.

Continue reading ‘Sour times’

Antarctic Ecological Genomics PhD Opportunities

Antarctic Ecological Genomics PhD Opportunities:

1) Ecological genomics of the invertebrate response to ocean acidification

2) Ecological genomics of the vertebrate/invertebrate response to shifts in food supply School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Continue reading ‘Antarctic Ecological Genomics PhD Opportunities’

Loss of pteropods might be catastrophic

A U.S. scientist says tiny creatures called pteropods might be at risk to climate change and their demise would be “catastrophic” to the ocean food chain.

University of California-Santa Barbara scientist Gretchen Hofmann said pteropods might be the “canaries in the coal mine” of climate change.

Continue reading ‘Loss of pteropods might be catastrophic’

Warm Sea Urchins on Acid

Marine biologists break out in a cold sweat when they think about the impact of greenhouse gases on the oceans. It’s not just the fact that global warming raises the temperature of the sea. Scientists are also worried about acidity. The burning of fossil fuels pumps carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and when it gets absorbed by seawater, it turns into carbonic acid and makes the oceans more acidic.

Continue reading ‘Warm Sea Urchins on Acid’

Warm Sea Urchins on Acid

Marine biologists break out in a cold sweat when they think about the impact of greenhouse gases on the oceans. It’s not just the fact that global warming raises the temperature of the sea. Scientists are also worried about acidity. The burning of fossil fuels pumps carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and when it gets absorbed by seawater, it turns into carbonic acid and makes the oceans more acidic.

Continue reading ‘Warm Sea Urchins on Acid’


Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,417,468 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book

Archives