Archive for the 'Media coverage' Category

Skagway Traditional Council begins to monitor ocean acidification with regional tribes

Reuben Cash adds mercuric chloride to a water sample before sending it to the SEATOR lab in Sitka. (Claire Stremple/KHNS)

Skagway’s Traditional Council is the most recent member of a statewide tribal network that measures ocean acidification. Samples from Nahku Bay in the Upper Lynn Canal will be part of a regional data set that helps scientists make a plan for adaption.

“The water has definitely been warmer than the air, but that doesn’t change the fact that its cold,” he said.

“But I also put on an extra pair of long johns.”

He is the Environmental Coordinator for Skagway Traditional Council. He’s taking samples of ocean water. It’s just starting to snow, but data collection knows no off-season.

He fills a 5-gallon bucket and hauls it up the beach. Then he takes off his gloves and starts unloading his supplies from a hard case. A mesh net, nitrile gloves, three empty beer bottles—sanitized, a baggie of bottle caps, and a small box with a skull and crossbones on it. It’s mercuric chloride.

Continue reading ‘Skagway Traditional Council begins to monitor ocean acidification with regional tribes’

Arctic ocean acidification may cause emission of more harmful greenhouse gas: study

GENEVA: The gradual acidification of the subarctic region of the Pacific ocean, is causing a significant increase in the production of nitrous oxide, an ozone-depleting greenhouse gas, according to a study.

The researchers, including those from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, studied the production of nitrous oxide near the Hokkaido and the Kuril Islands — disputed territories between Japan and Russia in the northern Pacific ocean.

The rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to human activities increases the acidity of the ocean, according to the researchers.

The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, revealed that if pH — which has a scale from zero (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline) — keeps falling at the current rate of 0.0051 units per year, the nitrous oxide produced in this Pacific region may rise by 185 per cent to 491 per cent by 2100.

Continue reading ‘Arctic ocean acidification may cause emission of more harmful greenhouse gas: study’

State’s ocean acidification commission rolls up its sleeves at MBL meeting

Rep. Sarah Peake, a member of the Massachusetts Ocean Acidification commission, and MBL’s Sebastien Laye illuminate a skate egg case in the MBL’s Marine Resources Center. Credit: Jane Marks

Intense downpours, heat waves, and flooding are now the most visible signs of climate change in the New England region. But less visible impacts also pose a threat to the region’s economy and resiliency.

The first meeting of the Massachusetts Commission on Ocean Acidification was held at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) on Friday, kicking off a state investigation of climate-related changes in ocean chemistry that can endanger our important shellfishing and aquaculture industries.

Cape and Islands Sen. Julian Cyr led the meeting with Rep. Dylan Fernandes, who represents Woods Hole. The commission includes legislators, commercial fishers and shellfishers, scientists including MBL’s Anne Giblin, and representatives from environmental agencies and groups.

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The acidification of the Pacific Ocean in northern Japan is increasing

Departure for sampling in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan. © EPFL

Departure for sampling in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan. © EPFL

When carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by seawater, chemical reactions occur that reduce seawater pH, carbonate ion concentration, and saturation states of biologically essential calcium carbonate minerals. These chemical reactions are termed ocean acidification.

Ocean acidification produced by the dissolution of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in seawater has profound consequences for marine ecology and biogeochemistry. In the past two centuries, the oceans have absorbed one-third of CO2 emissions, altering ocean chemistry, reducing seawater pH, and affecting marine animals and phytoplankton in multiple ways.

Continue reading ‘The acidification of the Pacific Ocean in northern Japan is increasing’

Opinion: The ocean is acidifying — what you need to know

Discussions about rising carbon dioxide levels typically evolve into conversations concerning global temperatures and melting polar ice caps. While these are causes of concern, there is another niche to anthropogenic climate change that is rarely considered.

Ocean acidification — the perpetual decrease in the pH of Earth’s oceans — is an unfortunate externality to excess CO? in the atmosphere.

There is a complex scientific jargon that explains how OA occurs, but — for the sake of simplicity — it can be described as a chemical reaction between seawater and CO?. As a result of this reaction, carbonic acid forms which then reduces the overall water source pH.

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Scientist interview: Arley Muth

Arley on a field mission to the Boulder Patch with project PI Ken Dunton and Christina Bonsell.

Arley Muth is a doctoral student studying ocean acidification in the Beaufort Sea. She is part of a Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project led by Ken Dunton at the University of Texas looking lagoons in the Arctic and ecosystem change over time.

Q: Your team just completed 2 years of pH monitoring in the Beaufort Sea. Could you give us a quick rundown of the project?

We work in area known as “the Boulder Patch”, in Stefansson Sound which is just east of Prudhoe Bay. Due to rock coverage in the area, there is a diverse community of invertebrates and seaweeds, including the Arctic endemic kelp, Laminaria solidungula. We are working to understand species distributions and the environmental drivers of near-shore environments. The carbonate chemistry and pH levels of the nearshore Arctic are relatively unknown, but we do know that the colder waters and freshwater input have the potential to drive down pH levels (creating more acidic water). It’s important to document a baseline in order to detect future changes due to ocean acidification.

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Mass Special Commission on ocean acidification holds first meeting friday

The first meeting of the Special Legislative Commission Relative to Ocean Acidification. The Commission was created by legislation passed by Senator Cyr and Representative Fernandes in 2018. The Commission is comprised of Massachusetts legislators, coastal and ocean acidification scientists, commercial fishers & shellfishers, and representatives from environmental agencies and organizations. The Commission will meet at least four times to review relevant scientific data and information related to coastal and ocean acidification, conduct public hearings, and create a report of findings and policy recommendations for the legislature by December 31st, 2020.

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OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book