Ocean acidification (effects on marine plants: phytoplankton – coccolithophores): summary

(Please see the important comment below!)

Coccolithophores are single-celled algae and protists that are found throughout the surface euphotic zones of the world’s oceans. They contain chlorophyll, conduct photosynthesis and possess special plates or scales known as coccoliths, which they create via the process of calcification. This summary briefly reviews the results of several studies investigating how coccolithophores may be affected by ocean acidification in a CO2-enriched world of the future. As indicated below, the findings of these several works challenge the alarmist view of ocean acidification espoused by the IPCC and others. Instead of experiencing great harm in response to future declines in oceanic pH predicted for the future, coccolithophores will likely adapt and possible even thrive under such changes.

Introducing this complex subject of global change research, over a decade ago Riebesell (2004) wrote that a doubling of present-day atmospheric CO2 concentrations “is predicted to cause a 20-40% reduction in biogenic calcification of the predominant calcifying organisms, the corals, coccolithophorids, and foraminifera.” On the other hand, he noted that “a moderate increase in CO2 facilitates photosynthetic carbon fixation of some phytoplankton groups,” including “the coccolithophorids Emiliania huxleyi and Gephyrocapsa oceanica.” And in what constituted a major challenge to the model-based claim that atmospheric CO2 enrichment will harm such marine organisms, Riebesell went on to suggest that “CO2-sensitive taxa, such as the calcifying coccolithophorids, should therefore benefit more from the present increase in atmospheric CO2 compared to the non-calcifying diatoms.” (…)

CO2 Science. Article.

4 Responses to “Ocean acidification (effects on marine plants: phytoplankton – coccolithophores): summary”


  1. 1 olgaanghelici 29 January 2016 at 11:22

    The goal of the OA-ICC news stream being to provide an unbiased view of the topic of ocean acidification, it is legitimate to post the news above. However, the readership must be aware of problems associated with the work reported. This article is anonymous and not peer-reviewed. Unfortunately, these are usual attributes of documents produced by the CO2 Science, leading to poor scientific quality and credibility.

  2. 2 Steve Bloom 29 January 2016 at 18:43

    To add to that point, the “CO2 Science” propaganda site is funded by the fossil fuel industry. If the research interpretations stated in the article are valid there will be other, legitimate sources that touch on it.

  3. 3 Jean-Pierre Gattuso 1 February 2016 at 07:04

    I agree with Olga Anghelici and would like to mention that this document is published by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, a non-profit organization that is skeptical of the negative direct and indirect impacts of elevated CO2. It is not peer-reviewed and provides a highly biased view and interpretation of selected scientific articles. It also includes misleading analysis and statements.

    Nevertheless, it is appropriate to mention this document in this news stream which aims to provide an unbiased view of the literature and media articles pertaining to ocean acidification and its consequences on marine organisms and ecosystem. Readers who wish to get an unbiased view of the scientific literature pertaining to ocean acidification can check the OA-ICC new stream which highlights relevant papers. Tools such as Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com/) can also be used. For example, the following keywords “ocean acidification” provide a set of papers that are not even mentioned in the document above.

    Jean-Pierre Gattuso

  4. 4 Steve Bloom 1 February 2016 at 08:08

    Thanks. So just lead any posts of their material with a such a disclaimer. Otherwise people may be confused or even taken in.


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