Archive for the 'Education' Category

Ocean acidification can affect seaweed and humans (podcast)

Ocean Acidification is usually discussed with the subjects of calcium based animals such as Corals, mussels and snails as they need Calcium to build their shells. Calcium will not be available as there is more CO2 in the Ocean. However, not all living Ocean beings will be negatively affected. Plants such as Seaweeds are predicted to thrive.

Many sushi lovers will breathe a sigh of relief at this news, but there is cautioned thrown their way. A new study was recently conducted on how the iodine levels in seaweed, and its consumers, will be affected in the presence of elevated CO2 levels as future IPCC reports suggest.

Iodine is important to humans as it regulates the thyroid hormones in your body. Too little or too much iodine could have serious effects on the body that could decrease human and animal health.

The results show consumers (fish and molluscs) that ate seaweed under increased CO2 conditions possessed elevated iodine concentrations, which means humans will be required to monitor the iodine levels in seaweed in the future to ensure it does not decrease the health in humans.

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NECAN industry webinar: OCA impacts on lobster

Time: 12 December 2018, 8 – 9pm CET

Description

Richard Wahle, University of Maine School of Marine Sciences
The American lobster has become a poster child for the impacts of environmental change on coastal ecosystems and economies. This talk sets the stage for two in-depth presentations to follow on the effects of warming and acidification on lobster larvae, and an industry perspective on the future of the fishery. Dynamic food webs and climate seem to be changing faster than fishery managers and the industry can adapt. In southern New England elevated summer heat stress, hypoxia and disease have led to widespread collapse of the region’s once thriving lobster fishery. But in the cooler Gulf of Maine ocean warming has reinforced the top-down effects of depleting predatory ground fish, such as Atlantic cod, triggering an unprecedented boom in lobster production, one that has elevated the species to its current status as the most valuable single-species fishery in the US and Canada. The future of this fishery is far from certain. The northward advance of shell disease and southern predators, and changes in the pelagic and benthic food web, pose real threats. And with few alternative fisheries, coastal communities in Maine and Atlantic Canada are now perilously dependent on this single fishery. Traditional single-species fishery stock assessment does not fully capture the drivers of population dynamics, and it is increasingly important to embrace ecosystem-based management and forecasting tools that account for environmental interactions. The iconic lobster therefore has broad relevance as a case study of the sometimes contrasting impacts of environmental change and exploitation on our living marine resources and coastal communities.

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PhD opportunity: Testing the vulnerability of life stages of marine calcifiers to changes in ocean chemistry (Marine Institute Cullen Fellowship)

Deadline: Friday, January 11, 2019

Project Description: Global change includes a wide range of environmental (physical and chemical) changes and is occurring faster than our ability to predict it’s consequences (Kroeker, Kordas & Harley 2017). Much work has been done since it was first observed that the oceans were acidifying (Doney et al. 2009; Feely, Doney & Cooley 2009), however, the diversity of responses among species to date prevents clear predictions about the impact of acidification at the ecosystem level (Kroeker et al. 2011). The first generation of ocean acidification experiments focused on the physiological responses of individual organisms, usually calcified organisms because those were assumed to be most vulnerable (Widdicombe & Spicer 2008; Melzner et al. 2009; Dupont, Ortega-Martinez & Thorndyke 2010). These were followed by a wave of studies that also attempted to include wider community level responses and various proxies for ecosystem functioning (Hale et al. 2011; Russell et al. 2012; Murray et al. 2013; Queiros et al. 2015; Sunday et al. 2017). More recently, the factors that currently limit our understanding have been identified based on our knowledge that CO2 driven environmental change comprises a suite of stressors with different, sometime opposing, patterns of occurrence and effects of species (Kroeker, Kordas & Harley 2017). The interactions between ocean acidification (OA) and other natural or anthropogenic pressures can result in positive or negative net effects (Boyd & Hutchins 2012), which can determine individual species responses (Breitburg et al. 2015; Kroeker et al. 2016). Context is, therefore, critical for forecasting the ecological effects of OA and it is recommended that future studies should span a wide range of conditions to accurately interpret empirical results (Kroeker, Kordas & Harley 2017). Furthermore, the combined effects of multiple stressors on individual species can be mediated by their interactions with other species in an ecosystem (Alsterberg et al. 2013). It is, thus, imperative that the next generation of OA studies include diverse, functioning ecosystems that incorporate species interactions and compensatory dynamics (Kroeker, Kordas & Harley 2017).

Continue reading ‘PhD opportunity: Testing the vulnerability of life stages of marine calcifiers to changes in ocean chemistry (Marine Institute Cullen Fellowship)’

Training video: Ocean carbon crisis

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Ocean acidification activity book developed for educators and students

Researchers from Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have created an activity book aimed at helping elementary school and early middle school students, in particular 4th-6th graders, to familiarize themselves with the concept of ocean acidification, what causes it, how it occurs, how it affects marine organisms and ecosystems, and what we can do to help mitigate its impacts.

The PDF of this activity book, developed with the support of the National Science Foundation (grant #1416837), is available for free for teachers and students – please click on the “Registration” tab above to register and receive your free download (English and Spanish versions are available).

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Ocean acidification communication toolkit: dungeness crab case study

Dungeness crab is a valuable species throughout the national marine sanctuaries of the West Coast from Washington state to throughout California. This communication toolkit is designed for educators and communicators to use to teach others about the impact of ocean acidification on Dungeness crab.

The toolkit includes: fact sheet; infographic; PowerPoint slideshow with script; reference list; resource list; public domain video B-roll; and public domain images.

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Webinar: Alkalinity in the Gulf of Maine (and beyond); new observations, insights, and opportunities

Time: Wed, Nov 14, 2018 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM CET

Description: Ocean Acidification (OA) is a complex challenge in coastal waters, affecting a variety of groups across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Rising atmospheric CO2 levels drive the acidification process from one side, while changing river inputs and coastal circulation patterns provide pressures from another side. Caught in the middle are some of the most sensitive, economically valuable and highly populated areas of the world. Seawater is chemically buffered against acidification; however, this buffering is not evenly distributed around our coasts. Measurement of the buffering capacity, known as alkalinity, has been routine in open-ocean studies for decades, but have been limited in more dynamic coastal settings until relatively recently. Through several projects researchers at UNH, along with colleagues from other institutions, have been working to collect large amounts of alkalinity data in the Gulf of Maine and other regions, using both standard methods and new technology. Chris will discuss how these new in-situ data compare to regional alkalinity estimates and detail how new technology and observation opportunities can improve OA and carbon cycle science.

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OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book