Archive for December, 2014



OA-ICC December calendar: 25/12 – “Go virtual with the OA-ICC!”

Count down the days until 2015 together with the OA-ICC! Each day of December you will find a short story on the OA-ICC news stream highlighting an ocean acidification project, effort, or resource.

Discover today’s story below: “Go virtual with the OA-ICC!”

Continue reading ‘OA-ICC December calendar: 25/12 – “Go virtual with the OA-ICC!”’

OA-ICC December calendar: 24/12- “A great wall to help stop OA”

Count down the days until 2015 together with the OA-ICC! Each day of December you will find a short story on the OA-ICC news stream highlighting an ocean acidification project, effort, or resource.

Discover today’s story below: “A great wall to help stop OA”!

Continue reading ‘OA-ICC December calendar: 24/12- “A great wall to help stop OA”’

New MBARI project: The Emerging Science of a High CO2 / Low pH Ocean

This project developed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) proposes to tackle the problem of assessing the future impacts of elevated oceanic CO2 levels (lower pH) on marine ecosystems through a unique combination of field and laboratory studies, and to address the associated policy, economic, and permitting issues. This work will draw on MBARI’s exceptional engineering skills, the institutional investment in ships and vehicles, and the new presence of the MARS cable as a unique experimental resource. The inevitable association of higher CO2 levels with climate change and lower oxygen levels, and the cascade of ocean policy issues arising in the post-climate change world will bring additional complexity that only a team effort can address.

The project aims at developing systems and methods for small-scale perturbation experiments in the laboratory and at sea to expose marine animals to the conditions that will likely represent the ocean of the late 21st century, to communicate these findings to policy makers, and to make the systems and knowledge we create available to users world-wide. CO2 perturbation experiments for land eco-systems have long been carried out and have revealed important predictors and insights that will influence policy. No equivalent experiments have yet been carried out in the ocean.

Continue reading ‘New MBARI project: The Emerging Science of a High CO2 / Low pH Ocean’

Climate change will leave a sour taste in our mouths – literally: Study shows ocean acidification affects the flavour of shellfish

Photo credit: Alamy

Photo credit: Alamy

It is a popular appetiser at this time of year, but Marie Rose could soon be a lot less paletable, according to a new study.

Marine biologists have found that shellfish take on a sour flavour if they are reared in slightly acidified sea water. They warn that as the planet’s oceans grow more acidic, due to rising carbon dioxide levels, many of our favourite seafoods could become less appetising.

Climate change experts predict that over the next century, the acidity levels of the world’s oceans could drop from pH8 to pH7.5. Many have warned this could lead to shrimps and prawns struggling to build the shells and skeletons they need to survive.

Continue reading ‘Climate change will leave a sour taste in our mouths – literally: Study shows ocean acidification affects the flavour of shellfish’

Environment Break: Understanding ocean acidification (video & text)

On Environment Break the focus is on ocean acidification, which is a threat to the coral reefs marine eco-system. Edlyn Ruiz talks to University of Essex’s Emma Camp and Department of Environment’s John Bothwell to find out more about how this has impacted Cayman’s waters.

Continue reading ‘Environment Break: Understanding ocean acidification (video & text)’

Considerations for the measurement of spectrophotometric pH for ocean acidification and other studies

Indicator-based spectrophotometric pH is commonly used for the analysis of seawater because of its high precision and long-term reproducibility. Users come from an increasingly diverse range of disciplines, primarily motivated by studies focused on the causes and effects of ocean acidification. While the analysis is readily implemented and straightforward, there are many variables that must be predetermined or measured, all of which can contribute uncertainty to the measurement. The indicator equilibrium constant and molar absorption coefficient ratios are available in the literature, but for various reasons, the conditions of analysis can be different, creating errors. Most of the parameters are temperature, salinity, and pressure dependent, posing potential additional errors. Indicator impurities and indicator perturbation of the sample pH also create uncertainties. We systematically evaluate all of the sources of error and compute how the errors propagate into CO2 equilibrium calculations of the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and calcium carbonate saturation states (Ω). The primary sources of uncertainty originate from wavelength and absorbance errors in low quality or poorly functioning spectrophotometers (0.007 to 0.020 pH units) and indicator impurities (0.000 to >0.040 pH units). These errors generate pCO2 and Ω uncertainties of 11-200 μatm and 0.08-0.38, respectively, depending upon the pH value and its uncertainty.

Continue reading ‘Considerations for the measurement of spectrophotometric pH for ocean acidification and other studies’

OA-ICC December calendar: 23/12- “It’s not clear unless it’s Nuclear!”

Count down the days until 2015 together with the OA-ICC! Each day of December you will find a short story on the OA-ICC news stream highlighting an ocean acidification project, effort, or resource.

Discover today’s story below: “It’s not clear unless it’s Nuclear!”.

Continue reading ‘OA-ICC December calendar: 23/12- “It’s not clear unless it’s Nuclear!”’

Une histoire d’acidité, d’oeufs durs et de maquereaux sur la Côte d’Azur (in French)

A captivating strip cartoon on ocean acidification by Fiamma Luzzati, resulted from an interview with Jean-Pierre Gattuso, Senior Research Scientist at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).

gattuso-mep-13

Continue reading ‘Une histoire d’acidité, d’oeufs durs et de maquereaux sur la Côte d’Azur (in French)’

Strengthening confidence in climate change impact science

Aim

To assess confidence in conclusions about climate-driven biological change through time, and identify approaches for strengthening confidence scientific conclusions about ecological impacts of climate change.

Location

Global.

Methods

We outlined a framework for strengthening confidence in inferences drawn from biological climate impact studies through the systematic integration of prior expectations, long-term data and quantitative statistical procedures. We then developed a numerical confidence index (Cindex) and used it to evaluate current practices in 208 studies of marine climate impacts comprising 1735 biological time series.

Results

Confidence scores for inferred climate impacts varied widely from 1 to 16 (very low to high confidence). Approximately 35% of analyses were not associated with clearly stated prior expectations and 65% of analyses did not test putative non-climate drivers of biological change. Among the highest-scoring studies, 91% tested prior expectations, 86% formulated expectations for alternative drivers but only 63% statistically tested them. Higher confidence scores observed in studies that did not detect a change or tracked multiple species suggest publication bias favouring impact studies that are consistent with climate change. The number of time series showing climate impacts was a poor predictor of average confidence scores for a given group, reinforcing that vote-counting methodology is not appropriate for determining overall confidence in inferences.

Main conclusions

Climate impacts research is expected to attribute biological change to climate change with measurable confidence. Studies with long-term, high-resolution data, appropriate statistics and tests of alternative drivers earn higher Cindex scores, suggesting these should be given greater weight in impact assessments. Together with our proposed framework, the results of our Cindex analysis indicate how the science of detecting and attributing biological impacts to climate change can be strengthened through the use of evidence-based prior expectations and thorough statistical analyses, even when data are limited, maximizing the impact of the diverse and growing climate change ecology literature.

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Combined metabolome and proteome analysis of the mantle tissue from Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas exposed to elevated pCO2

Ocean acidification (OA) has been found to affect an array of normal physiological processes in mollusks, especially posing a significant threat to the fabrication process of mollusk shell. In the current study, the impact of exposure to elevated pCO2 condition was investigated in mantle tissue of Crassostrea gigas by an integrated metabolomic and proteomic approach. Analysis of metabolome and proteome revealed that elevated pCO2 could affect energy metabolism in oyster C. gigas, marked by differentially altered ATP, succinate, MDH, PEPCK and ALDH levels. Moreover, the up-regulated calponin-2, tropomyosins and myosin light chains indicated that elevated pCO2 probably caused disturbances in cytoskeleton structure in mantle tissue of oyster C. gigas. This work demonstrated that a combination of proteomics and metabolomics could provide important insights into the effects of OA at molecular levels.

Continue reading ‘Combined metabolome and proteome analysis of the mantle tissue from Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas exposed to elevated pCO2’


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