Archive for the 'Media coverage' Category

Event: dive deeper – ocean acidification

Friday, 18 December 2020, 15:00

WonderLab Museum

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In this edition of Dive Deeper we will talk about what ocean acidification, the problems it causes and what we can do to minimize our impact. To participate in the activity you will want, RED cabbage water (you can get this by boiling a head of cabbage in water for 15-20 minutes then allowing it to cool), white vinegar, 2 jars, a star and some water. We will be covering Indiana academic standards for 1st, 4th, and 5th grade Earth and Atmospheric Science, 3rd and 4th grade Life Science.

Click here to register for Zoom LIVE: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMvc–sqD4jGdBpSa87JqQFl14E8stSGa83

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Monitoring ocean acidification in the coastal ocean

Erich Rienecker and Brent Jones prepare to launch an underwater glider carrying one of Yui Takeshita’s pH sensors. Image: Yui Takeshita © 2019 MBARI

Over the last 20 years, marine scientists have become increasingly concerned about changes in the acidity or pH of the ocean. About one-third of the carbon dioxide that humans have released into the atmosphere has been taken up by the ocean, causing seawater to become more acidic (lower pH). Ocean acidification has many effects on marine life, especially animals such as corals and shellfish, whose hard skeletons can dissolve if the surrounding seawater becomes too acidic.

MBARI researchers have been at the forefront of research on ocean acidification for decades, with Peter Brewer being one of the first scientists to study the problem in detail, and Ken Johnson developing some of the first pH sensors that work reliably in the deep sea. Marine chemist Yui Takeshita has continued this tradition, developing pH sensors that can work in a wide variety of dynamic environments, including coastal waters, coral reefs, and kelp beds.

Continue reading ‘Monitoring ocean acidification in the coastal ocean’

USA makes USD 53 million investment in ocean observing for the future

The U.S. National Science Foundation has just approved a $53 million grant to develop the biogeochemical mission of the global Argo array. 

This substantial contribution will add 500 floats to the global Argo network in the next five years (see Networks map below) and will boost the array to meet 50% of its target for global biogeochemical sampling of the ocean.

The investment marks the next phase of the Argo implementation story that started in the 2000s with the core Argo mission to measure and map ocean heat. Twenty years later and with an array of 4000 floats, Argo plays a vital role in our climate and weather forecasts.

Continue reading ‘USA makes USD 53 million investment in ocean observing for the future’

“L’acidification des océans perturbe la fabrication des coquillages” (in French)

Depuis sa ferme pédagogique installée à Boisset en Haute-Loire, Fanny Agostini met à l’honneur l’alimentation, la santé et l’agriculture. Ce lundi, elle s’intéresse aux bienfaits de la parentalité pour l’environnement. Selon elle, l’arrivée d’un enfant pourrait permettre à une famille de changer ses habitudes et sa consommation.

Continue reading ‘“L’acidification des océans perturbe la fabrication des coquillages” (in French)’

Canadian maritime oysters show resilience to ocean acidification: study

A recent study has revealed that Atlantic Canada oysters may be reacting differently to ocean acidification than what earlier research has generally found.

A hatchery in New Brunswick, Canada, has teamed up with researchers from the Canadian government’s Fisheries and Oceans Canada to study the tolerance of oysters from Saint-Simon Bay in Northern New Brunswick of decreased pH in ocean waters.

“The oceans are a massive sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide,” says Jeff Clements, lead author of the study. “At one point in time this was thought to be a good thing since the oceans could reduce CO2 in the atmosphere and perhaps slow climate change, but what we’ve come to learn is that this extra CO2 is changing the chemistry of the oceans, with potentially deleterious effects for marine calcifiers,” explains Clements.

Ocean acidification describes the decrease in seawater pH due to the oceans absorbing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Continue reading ‘Canadian maritime oysters show resilience to ocean acidification: study’

US looks at ocean-based climate solutions act

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici presented the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act. The bill is a comprehensive ocean climate package based on the Select Committee’s Climate Action Plan.

The Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act aims to address the climate crisis, protect the ocean, and advance marine energy.

Every person on this planet benefits from a healthy ocean, but for too long the ocean has literally taken the heat for us

said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici.

The ocean priorities included in the new legislation are:

  • The Blue Carbon for Our Planet Act, which would create a national map and inventory of coastal blue carbon ecosystems, like mangroves, tidal marshes, seagrasses, and kelp forests, that can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it for centuries to millennia.
  • The COAST Research Act, a comprehensive bill to confront the challenges of ocean acidification and coastal acidification and help coastal communities adapt.
  • The Water Power Research and Development Act, which would scale up federal investments in marine energy, including the work at Oregon State University.
  • The BLUE GLOBE Act, which would assess the potential of an Advanced Research Project Agency–Oceans (ARPA-O).
  • The Shovel-Ready Restoration Grants for Coastlines and Fisheries Act, which is responsive to a House Oceans Caucus letter to Leadership requesting investments in coastal restoration and resilience projects to support and create good-paying jobs.
  • The National Estuaries and Acidification Research (NEAR) Act, which would address the significant research gaps in our understanding of the effects of ocean and coastal acidification on our nation’s estuaries.
  • The Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act, which would direct NOAA to conduct vulnerability assessments to identify communities that are dependent on coastal and ocean resources that may be affected by ocean acidification.
  • The Ocean Acidification Innovation Act, for federal agencies to increase efforts to research, monitor, and manage ocean acidification and its effects.
  • The Living Shorelines Act, which would create a grant program to support natural infrastructure investments.
  • The Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act to strengthen monitoring of our ocean and coasts.
Continue reading ‘US looks at ocean-based climate solutions act’

The power of kelp (video)

Increasing acidification in the Puget Sound and Hood Canal is taking a toll on the species that inhabit those waters. The PMEL Carbon Group worked with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF) to help investigate the power of sugar kelp to improve seawater conditions locally. With increasingly corrosive conditions ahead, the project tested the efficacy of using native vegetation to buffer the pH of seawater in places with important shellfish resources. The 5-year project implements a key recommendation of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification with funding from The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Please read the PSRF’s Summary of Findings to learn more.

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Long-term data show a recent acceleration in chemical and physical changes in the ocean

Summary: New research uses data from two sustained open-ocean hydrographic stations in the North Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda to demonstrate recent changes in ocean physics and chemistry since the 1980s. The study shows decadal variability and recent acceleration of surface warming, salinification, deoxygenation, and changes in carbon dioxide-carbonate chemistry that drives ocean acidification.

New research published in Nature Communications Earth & Environment uses data from two sustained open-ocean hydrographic stations in the North Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda to demonstrate recent changes in ocean physics and chemistry since the 1980s. The study shows decadal variability and recent acceleration of surface warming, salinification, deoxygenation, and changes in carbon dioxide (CO2)-carbonate chemistry that drives ocean acidification.

The study utilized datasets from Hydrostation ‘S’ and the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) projects at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS). Both are led by Professor Nicholas Bates, BIOS senior scientist and the projects’ principal investigator (PI), and Rod Johnson, BIOS assistant scientist and the projects’ co-PI. Together, these time-series represent the two longest continuous records of data from the global open ocean.

“The four decades of data from BATS and Hydrostation ‘S’ show that the ocean is not changing uniformly over time and that the ocean carbon sink is not stable over recent time with variability from decade to decade,” Bates said.

Continue reading ‘Long-term data show a recent acceleration in chemical and physical changes in the ocean’

Climate change may shift coral population dynamics

New paleoceanographic research indicates that warming waters may contribute to fewer coral reefs but to a flourishing presence of soft-bodied corals.

One of the most devastating impacts of climate change is the acidification of seawater caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Ocean acidification is thought to be particularly devastating to hard-shelled creatures and has cast the future of coral reefs—and the troves of biodiversity they support—in doubt. A new study of the evolution of corals and their close relatives confirms that the threat is very real: In high-CO2 environments of previous eras, reef-building corals all but disappeared.

But the study also adds an important and perhaps encouraging new wrinkle to the story. The paleoclimate research finds that different subgroups of anthozoans—the evolutionary class that includes corals and sea anemones—were favored by different ocean chemistry regimes. On multiple occasions, as conditions became too warm and acidic for reef-building corals to thrive, soft-bodied corals and anemones were able to flourish and diversify. 

Continue reading ‘Climate change may shift coral population dynamics’

Oregon recognized as leader in efforts to stem climate and ocean changes

Shellfish are particularly vulnerable to OAH and are also the bread and butter of Oregon’s commercial seafood industry, bringing over $100 million annually into coastal communities.

SALEM — Oregon again was recognized as a leader in efforts to stem climate change and ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH).

The legislatively created Oregon Coordinating Council on OAH recently was recognized for its efforts to guide Oregon’s response to ocean change and OAH. The Coordinating Council received an Honorable Mention for the 2020 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources.

ODFW’s Dr. Caren Braby and OSU’s Dr. Jack Barth lead the Coordinating Council.

The award, given by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, recognizes the Coordinating Council’s exemplary leadership in reducing climate related threats through developing and carrying out the 2019-2025 OAH Action Plan.

Continue reading ‘Oregon recognized as leader in efforts to stem climate and ocean changes’


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