Archive for the 'Media coverage' Category

ODFW seeks candidate to represent ocean fishing interests

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking qualified applicants to fill a seat on the Oregon Coordinating Council on Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia.

This seat will represent ocean fishing interests. Interested individuals must apply by March 2, 2020, using the application provided on the Oregon Coordinating Council on Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia.

The ideal candidate will be a resident of Oregon that is able to effectively represent Oregon’s interests in ocean fishing through their participation in either recreational or commercial fisheries. Desirable attributes include involvement with these interests on the coast, involvement with management of these resources and previous experience being a representative of a larger group on a board, commission or council.

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Crab larvae off Oregon and Washington suffering shell damage from ocean acidification, new research shows

Dungeness sustain West Coast commercial seafood harvests typically worth more than $200 million annually, and are a mainstay for tribal and recreational crabbers. (Maddie Meyer / The Seattle Times, 2014)

Dungeness sustain West Coast commercial seafood harvests typically worth more than $200 million annually, and are a mainstay for tribal and recreational crabbers. (Maddie Meyer / The Seattle Times, 2014)

Ocean acidification is damaging the shells of young Dungeness crab in the Northwest, an impact that scientists did not expect until much later this century, according to new research.

A study released this week in the journal Science of the Total Environment is based on a 2016 survey of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia coastal waters that examined larval Dungeness. The findings add to the concerns about the future of the Dungeness as atmospheric carbon dioxide — on the rise due to fossil-fuel combustion — is absorbed by the Pacific Ocean and increases acidification.

“If the crabs are affected already, we really need to make sure we start to pay attention to various components of the food chain before it is too late,” said Nina Bednarsek, the lead author among 13 contributing scientists. The study was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).

Continue reading ‘Crab larvae off Oregon and Washington suffering shell damage from ocean acidification, new research shows’

8.1 – ocean acidification day of action

Program Officer, Alexis Valauri-Orton addresses attendees at the second annual Ocean Acidification Day of Action on the 8th of January, 2020.

Alexis Valauri-Orton, Program Officer, addressed attendees of the second annual Ocean Acidification Day of Action held at the Embassy of New Zealand on the 8th of January, 2020. These are her remarks:

8.1. That’s the number that brought us all here today. It’s today’s date, of course — the 8th of January. But it’s also a profoundly important number for the 71% of our planet that is the ocean. 8.1 is the current pH of the ocean.

I say current, because the ocean’s pH is changing. In fact, it is changing faster than at any time in geologic history. When we emit carbon dioxide, about one quarter of it is absorbed by the ocean. The moment that CO2 enters the ocean, it reacts with water to form carbonic acid. The ocean is 30% more acidic now than it was 200 years ago, and if we continue emitting at the rate we are today, the ocean will double in acidity by the end of my lifetime.

Continue reading ‘8.1 – ocean acidification day of action’

Dungeness crab larvae already showing effects of coastal acidification

This infographic shows the location of larval Dungeness crab sampling in 2016, examples of impacts from ocean acidification, as well as photos of a larval (left) and adult (right) crab. Credit: Nina Bednarsek, SSCWRP.

A new NOAA-funded study has documented for the first time that ocean acidification along the US Pacific Northwest coast is impacting the shells and sensory organs of some young Dungeness crab, a prized crustacean that supports the most valuable fishery on the West Coast.

Analysis of samples collected during a 2016 NOAA research cruise identified examples of damage to the carapace, or upper shell, of numerous larval Dungeness crabs, as well as the loss of hair-like sensory structures crabs use to orient themselves to their surroundings.

The study was published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

Continue reading ‘Dungeness crab larvae already showing effects of coastal acidification’

Zooming in on ocean acidification: increasing resolution in regional ocean models in the Northeast US

The world today is filled with images, from the flashing pictures of TVs to stills in an art gallery. Large scale oceanographic models, like the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) model, can be thought of as pictures of what is happening in our ocean. They are comprised of points of information like pixels, which contain data instead of color. Like an image, it is harder to see what is happening when zooming into a specific region of the model because resolution is low, causing it to blur. A lower resolution translates into a model that is unable to capture changes in salinity, pH, or temperature on a scale that is needed to understand local waters.

This is especially true in coastal areas where runoff, freshwater inputs, and physical processes make predictions more complicated. Low resolution in coastal models can make it hard to predict when conditions may not be favorable for fisheries, like the scallop fishery in the Northeast US. This fishery has a particular interest in ocean acidification -the shift in ocean chemistry driven by an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels – as it can greatly impact scallop shell growth.

Continue reading ‘Zooming in on ocean acidification: increasing resolution in regional ocean models in the Northeast US’

What is ocean acidification? (video)

Continue reading ‘What is ocean acidification? (video)’

Behind the paper: Calcifying reef taxa can gain tolerance to ocean acidification over multiple generations of exposure

Co-first author, Dr Steeve Comeau carrying mooring blocks for sensors over Tallon Island’s reef crest.

In August 2015 our team visited Tallon (Jalan) Island in the Kimberley region of northwest of Australia and we immediately knew we had found a special field site with large natural variations in seawater pH that could enable us to better understand the responses of reef-building and cementing species to climate change. In our paper in Nature Climate Change we detail the findings that juvenile coralline algae can gain tolerance to ocean acidification after multiple generations of exposure in the laboratory.

The scientific community had long speculated that benthic reef-building and cementing species could eventually adapt to ocean acidification if populations of organisms where exposed for multiple generations to its effects. Additionally, many experimental studies had demonstrated that individuals could gain tolerance to the effects of stressors through a multitude of processes that did not involve changes in gene frequencies, but rather “epigenetic” or maternal effects that were passed on from parents to offspring, referred to as transgenerational plasticity of transgenerational acclimation. The scientific community had also long speculated whether regular exposure to extremes in an environmental driver, could promote transgenerational plasticity, allowing individuals to more rapidly gain tolerance to changes in the mean state of these driver.

Continue reading ‘Behind the paper: Calcifying reef taxa can gain tolerance to ocean acidification over multiple generations of exposure’


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