Archive for the 'Media coverage' Category

PICRC researchers headed to Hawaii for IAEA Ocean Acidification Fellowship

Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) Researcher Ikelau Otto and Research Assistant McQuinnley Mesengei traveled to Hawaii last Friday to begin an ocean acidification fellowship at the University of Hawaii.

The two-and-a-half-month fellowship will provide Otto and Mesengei with the expertise they need to operate a new state-of-the-art ocean acidification (OA) monitoring lab at PICRC.  The OA lab will significantly expand Palau’s capacity to study ocean acidification in our waters.

Dr. Christopher Sabine, a professor at the University of Hawaii and expert on ocean acidification, will lead the fellowship program.

“In Palau, our economy, our food security, and our way of life all depend on the ocean.” said Otto. “Therefore, it’s critical that we understand the threat that ocean acidification poses to the delicate environment we rely so heavily on and what we can do in response.”

Otto and Mesengei were awarded the fellowship as part of a four-year project with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to expand Palau’s capacity to monitor ocean acidification. The project also establishes the new ocean acidification lab at PICRC led by Otto and Mesengei.

“The new lab is providing us with the tools we need to study ocean acidification and now, with the fellowship, Ikelau and I will have the expertise to use it to its full potential.” said Mesengei. “It’s a big step forward for Palau and the whole Micronesian region.”

After returning to Palau, Otto and Mesengei will provide additional trainings to the PICRC’s research team along with support from Stanford Professor Dr. Robert Dunbar, who is helping with the development of PICRC’s OA research program.

Continue reading ‘PICRC researchers headed to Hawaii for IAEA Ocean Acidification Fellowship’

Cuba improves its capacity to study ocean acidification

New equipment for the quantification of total carbon in seawater will reinforce Cuba’s capabilities to study ocean acidification.

The Nuclear Communicators Network (REDNUC) reported that a Total Carbon Analyzer donated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was installed at the Center for Environmental Studies (CEAC) in the city of Cienfuegos by an expert from the German company Analytik Jena, in keeping with the regional project Capacity Building in Marine and Coastal Environments through Nuclear and Isotope Techniques, which will contribute to the fulfillment of Cuba’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

The Cuban Observatory for the Study of Ocean Acidification, attached to the Network for Research on Marine-Coastal Stressors in Latin America and the Caribbean (REMARCO), already has stations in central and western provinces of the country.

REMARCO relies on the integration of scientists and communicators from 18 countries to achieve the transfer of scientific research results, taking into account managers and communities affected by chemical pollution, microplastics, harmful algal blooms, ocean acidification and eutrophication.

Analytik Jena is a leading supplier of high-quality analytical measurement technology, instruments and products in the field of biotechnology and molecular diagnostics, as well as automation and liquid handling technologies.

Continue reading ‘Cuba improves its capacity to study ocean acidification’

More or less: have the oceans become 30% more acidic? (audio)

Although the climate-changing effects of Carbon Dioxide emissions are well known, they are changing our oceans too, making them more acidic. But how much?

Tim Harford explores the statistical quirks of ocean acidification, from pH to the mysteries of logarithmic scales. With Dr Helen Findlay from the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the UK.

Presenter: Tim Harford Producer: Nathan Gower Programme Coordinator: Brenda Brown Sound Engineer: Rod Farquhar

Underwater perspective of a wave breaking. Credit: Joel Sharpe/Getty images
Continue reading ‘More or less: have the oceans become 30% more acidic? (audio)’

Salish Sea providing a ‘window’ into the future of ocean acidification (text & video)

WDFW is currently studying whether crabs could be impacted by ocean acidification, a process some scientists say Puget Sound is particularly susceptible to.

WASHINGTON — The waters of Puget Sound form the backbone of many businesses across the Pacific Northwest. They’re also central to the identity of many coastal towns in western Washington. 

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) says it is the most valuable type of fishing in the state. WDFW is currently studying whether crabs could be impacted by ocean acidification, a process some scientists say Puget Sound is particularly susceptible to.

Aaron Dufault, a Puget Sound shellfish manager with WDFW, works with teams in the department to ensure sustainable management of Dungeness crab.

“We manage these populations using what we call 3S management, which utilizes sex, so we only allow folks to harvest males, we don’t harvest females,” Dufault said. “Then we have size. So, we have a minimum size that we allow folks to target, so we’re protecting juveniles or sub-adults there. But we also have seasons. So we make sure we’re not targeting these, targeting crabs when they’re molting, for example, when they’re vulnerable, to mortality, due to handling and stuff like that.”

They work to understand all of the processes potentially impacting Dungeness crabs, including ocean acidification. So far, based on their monitoring, ocean acidification on its own does not appear to impact adult populations. It does, however, appear to affect juvenile populations.

“Adults don’t seem to be very affected by ocean acidification, they have the ability to regulate their internal fluid, the acid-base regulation is really strong, so adults aren’t typically impacted,” Dufault said. “Juveniles, however, seem to be pretty susceptible to ocean acidification. So this is for juveniles being impacted. It’s not just a common thing to see across crustaceans, but across other taxonomic groups as well.”

Continue reading ‘Salish Sea providing a ‘window’ into the future of ocean acidification (text & video)’

Oregon legislature makes big investment in ocean science

The nearly $1 million that Oregon legislators approved so ocean researchers can help Oregon better understand and monitor ocean changes is starting to make its way to researchers.

Last year, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 3114, which allocated the funds to the Oregon Ocean Science Trust to address ocean acidification and hypoxia and the risks these issues pose to the state’s economy and ecosystems. Now, through competitive grants, these funds are being distributed to marine researchers.

Laura Anderson, chair of the Oregon Ocean Science Trust, said her entity is thankful to Oregon lawmakers for realizing the value of investing in increasing ocean knowledge.

“Coastal economies and Oregon fisheries are directly dependent on healthy marine ecosystems,” Anderson said. “And helping policy makers proactively manage ocean resources is ultimately a benefit for all Oregonians.”

The funds address priority actions in Oregon’s Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Plan and support OAH monitoring in Oregon’s coastal waters and in Yaquina Bay.

The Oregon Coordinating Council on Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia, created via passage of Oregon Senate Bill 1039 in 2017, provides recommendations and guidance to the state on how to respond to acidification and hypoxia issues.

Oregon was one of the first places in the world to observe the direct impact of ocean acidification when its oyster hatchery production collapsed in 2007. Acidification continues to be a challenge in oyster aquaculture productivity and has prompted some producers to move operations elsewhere.

The situation was caused by carbon dioxide from the atmosphere entering the ocean and reacting chemically with water. The sea became acidified, and hypoxia occurred. Hypoxia, low or depleted oxygen in ocean water, is exacerbated by acidification.

Continue reading ‘Oregon legislature makes big investment in ocean science’

$50M gift aims to improve Hawaiʻi’s ocean health

Seven-Year Commitment Funds University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa SOEST Ocean Conservation Research

Today, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) announced a seven-year $50 million commitment from Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, which will support  various research groups within Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB). HIMB will leverage this gift to make meaningful progress in restoring Hawaiʻi’s ocean health. 

This gift will fund research and programs that document changing ocean conditions, explore solutions to support healthier ocean ecosystems, enhance coastal resilience from storms and sea-level rise, and tackle challenges to marine organisms ranging from the tiniest corals to the largest predators.

University of Hawai‘i (UH) President David Lassner said, “This transformative gift will enable our world-class experts to accelerate conservation research for the benefit of Hawaiʻi and the world.” Lassner continued, “The ocean ecosystems that evolved over eons now face unprecedented threats from our growing human population and our behaviors. It is critical that we learn from previous generations who carefully balanced resource use and conservation. The clock is ticking, and we must fast-track not only our understanding of marine ecosystems and the impacts of climate change, but the actions we must take to reverse the devastation underway. There is no place on Earth better than Hawai‘i to do this work, and no institution better able than UH.  We could not be more grateful for the investment of Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in a better future for all of us and our planet.” 

Hawai‘i is home to a rich diversity of marine life, including many threatened and endangered species. The accelerated pace of climate change and ocean acidification has altered environmental conditions faster than expected. Many species have difficulty adapting to the rapid changes taking place in the oceans and scientists see growing impacts to marine ecosystems. 

The gift funds research on the impact of climate change on Hawaiian coastal waters, including areas of particular concern or natural refuges from ocean acidification effects. It will also support  research  on methods for more accurate forecasting of future ocean conditions, as well as efforts to study marine organisms like coral reefs, sharks, and other species.    

Continue reading ‘$50M gift aims to improve Hawaiʻi’s ocean health’

2050 neutrality is a false prophet, there’s a time bomb waiting for us in the oceans

I felt a lot of sympathy this week seeing younger generations, led by Greta Thunberg, who decried what they saw as a gross display of elitist posturing and grandstanding by global leaders ostensibly attempting to ‘solve’ the climate crisis at COP26.

I was there earlier this week, rubbing shoulders with the world’s elite as they fail to develop a meaningful way forward to protect future generations, but I have a different bone of contention that no one, not even the climate activists, seem to see.

Carbon neutrality by 2050 is a false prophet. Our climate activists are right to focus on CO2, but they need to look both ways, see both sides of the carbon equation – what goes in, isn’t being taken out.

Instead of just looking up at our warming atmosphere, we should be looking down into our acidifying oceans.

The dominant narrative has been of the dangers of a warming planet. These dangers are real, and we must reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

But this is not our most pressing problem. To explain why, I must introduce you to a number you will unfortunately be hearing a lot in the coming years: pH 7.95.

Ocean Acidification
Continue reading ‘2050 neutrality is a false prophet, there’s a time bomb waiting for us in the oceans’

COP26: top marine biologist warns of catastrophic consequences of ignoring ocean acidification

One of the world’s top marine biologists, Howard Dryden, Chief Scientific Officer at the Global Ocean Exploratory Survey (GOES) Team, has warned the UN Climate Change Conference that we have just ten years to take action to prevent ocean acidification rising to catastrophic level by 2045.

Without major changes, global oceans are set to pass a pH of 7.95 within the next 25 years, setting off an irreversible chain reaction leading to the break of the shells of phytoplankton. These organisms are the true lungs of the planet, absorbing more CO2 than all the world’s forests combined. If they die, climate change will be put into hyperdrive and could very possibly see the collapse of the ocean’s food chain.

“If we don’t fix the problem of ocean acidification in the next decade, we’re screwed. Even if we are carbon neutral by 2030, we will still hit levels of acidification higher than pH 7.95, which will kill over half of all life in the ocean. While the attention on carbon zero is well intentioned, it is a misguided focus of efforts when we face a further more pressing danger right on the horizon.” said Dryden.

The GOES Team have been invited to COP26 to help educate attendees on why the focus on achieving net zero carbon emissions is misplaced. They will then set sail around the world in their carbon neutral sailboat to meet with senior government ministers, scientists and global leaders hoping to build a collective plan of action to stop ocean acidification.

They will visit hotspots where ocean acidification has flared already up, utilising their newly built system for ocean acidification sampling. They have assembled an armada of over 100 boats, captained by citizen scientists committed to sounding the alarm on pH 7.95. 

Continue reading ‘COP26: top marine biologist warns of catastrophic consequences of ignoring ocean acidification’

Autonomous glider withstands two hurricanes while transmitting continuous ocean data (text & video)

A Texas A&M Liquid Robotics WaveGlider is collecting and transmitting water quality data from above the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico.

video still of a group of students in hard hats on a boat preparing to launch a yellow glider into the water
The Texas A&M Liquid Robotics WaveGlider SV3 was deployed Aug. 13, 2021. Courtesy of Steve DiMarco

Today, 100 miles off the coast of Texas, a 10-foot-long yellow autonomous glider is riding waves as it patrols the perimeter above the NOAA Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

It is collecting water quality data related to ocean acidification, which is essential to monitoring the long-term survival of the sanctuary’s unique coral reef ecosystem, and transmitting it to a research team that includes Texas A&M University System scientists.

The Texas A&M Liquid Robotics WaveGlider SV3’s 90-day deployment — the first of its kind in the U.S. — is part of a multi-institutional collaborative project funded by NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Office Ocean Acidification Program (OAP). Project partners include the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University’s Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG), the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS), Liquid Robotics, and the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

But the WaveGlider’s mission has been bumpier than expected. It has survived two named hurricanes — Ida and Nicholas — since Texas A&M GERG scientists deployed it Aug. 13 into the Gulf of Mexico.

“Our lab has been working with the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary since 2013 collecting seawater carbonate data,” Hu said. “But sample collections have been mostly on a seasonal basis and rely on the sanctuary’s research vessel, the R/V Manta. The WaveGlider offers an excellent opportunity for us to continuously monitor this area for an extended period of time with unprecedented temporal resolution. We can’t wait to see what the on-board sensors will reveal for the entire deployment.”

Continue reading ‘Autonomous glider withstands two hurricanes while transmitting continuous ocean data (text & video)’

US expert urges Ireland to participate in monitoring ocean acidification

Wild salmon and shellfish among species most vulnerable to falling pH levels of seas

Dr Dick Feely, senior scientist with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Dr Dick Feely, senior scientist with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A global expert on ocean acidification has urged Ireland to become involved in monitoring its potential impact on the State’s multimillion-euro seafood sector.

Atlantic wild salmon and shellfish are among the marine species most vulnerable to falling pH levels, according to Dr Dick Feely, senior scientist with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Known as the “other CO2 problem”, acidification due to increasing carbon emissions is now acknowledged as one of a trio of threats to the health of the world’s oceans, along with global warming and deoxygenation.

Warming Up, Turning Sour, Losing Breath” is how Dr Feely subtitled his recent address on the issue at NUI Galway.

Continue reading ‘US expert urges Ireland to participate in monitoring ocean acidification’

BIOACID

Date resource published: Nov-16

Date resource added to the blog: 18/06/2021

Resource type: Video / Audio

Resource format: Video

The German research network BIOACID examines the effects of acidification on the life and biogeochemical cycles in the ocean – and on all those who depend on it.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports the project that is coordinated by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel.

Continue reading ‘BIOACID’

Female lobsters are getting smaller, but what about the next generation?

BAR HARBOR — As Maine’s waters are growing warmer and more acidic, lobster researchers are looking at how that’s affecting both the mothers and offspring of the state’s most prized crustacean.   

One thing is known for sure: Mature female lobsters have been shrinking.  

Over the past three years, Jesica Waller, a lobster scientist at the state’s Department of Marine Resources, has collected and analyzed more than 1,200 female lobsters along the coast. She has found that since the 1990s, mature females are getting smaller.  

“DMR research shows that the carapace/shell length at which most females reach maturity has decreased coastwide over the last 25-30 years,” she wrote in an email. “We sampled and analyzed females along Maine’s coast, and we found that the length at which most females reach maturity has decreased between 5.6 mm and 6.7 mm over this period (mid-1990s to today).”  

Continue reading ‘Female lobsters are getting smaller, but what about the next generation?’

Ancient shells from seabed show rising CO2 levels

Shells under the microscope
Tiny shells from the seabed were analysed by the scientists to determine CO2 levels

Microscopic shells have been used by geologists at the University of St Andrews to chart the earth’s climate over millions of years.

They have concluded that it is three million years since current carbon dioxide (CO2) levels were last experienced on earth.

The shells were extracted from mud samples taken from the deep ocean bed.

Experts then related the make-up of the shells with the acidity of the sea water and then atmospheric CO2 levels.

Continue reading ‘Ancient shells from seabed show rising CO2 levels’

House of Representatives passes rep. Bill Posey’s Bipartisan lagoon initiatives

Representative Bill Posey’s (R-Rockledge) legislation—the National Estuaries and Acidification Research Act or NEAR Act—aimed at fighting coastal acidification and helping estuaries like our Indian River Lagoon—passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Representative Bill Posey’s (R-Rockledge) legislation—the National Estuaries and Acidification Research Act or NEAR Act—aimed at fighting coastal acidification and helping estuaries like our Indian River Lagoon—passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support.

“Estuaries are some of most diverse ecosystems in the country, and because estuaries are places where freshwater mixes with salt water from the oceans, preserving this delicate balance is necessary but also challenging,” said Rep. Bill Posey. “This critical legislation will help protect our estuaries by ensuring that we continue to study and monitor the effects of coastal acidification.”

Specifically, the NEAR Act directs the National Academies of Science Ocean Study Board to conduct a two-year study examining the science of ocean acidification and its impact on our estuaries.

The goal of the NEAR Act is to create a better understanding of coastal acidification, so we can better manage and mitigate its effects on our nation’s estuaries and other natural treasures.

Continue reading ‘House of Representatives passes rep. Bill Posey’s Bipartisan lagoon initiatives’

Recycled oyster shell project targets ocean acidification along Maine coast

Researchers hope the oyster shell study will prove to be a viable way to revive flagging softshell clam harvests.

Adam Morse, left, and Chad Coffin, both clammers from Freeport, install a net over one of the plots of recycled oyster shells in the Mill Creek Estuary on Friday. The shells were collected from nine Portland restaurants and are being installed in small plots to see they will change the chemistry of the mud overtime, making it less acidic and less harmful to shellfish. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

SOUTH PORTLAND — Several hundred yards offshore, nestled in the mud of the Mill Creek Estuary, an experiment is underway to reduce coastal acidification that is decimating shellfish development and threatening Maine’s $15.7 million softshell clam harvest.

On Friday, researchers and volunteers laid out 120 plots of crushed oyster shells on the tidal flat behind the Hannaford Supermarket on Cottage Road. The study site is on the southern shore of Portland Harbor, near the mouth of the Fore River as it flows into Casco Bay.

The experiment will test whether oyster shells collected from Portland-area restaurants can be used to reduce the acidity of tidal flats and restore shellfish production, all while keeping diners’ discarded shells out of the waste stream.

Continue reading ‘Recycled oyster shell project targets ocean acidification along Maine coast’

Bill Posey, Brian Mast bring back National Estuaries and Acidification Research Act

At the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., brought back his proposal fighting coastal acidification.

bill-posey_fb1-525x420jpg.jpg

The House passed Posey’s “National Estuaries and Acidification Research (NEARAct” on a voice vote in June 2019. U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oreg. and U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., who lead the Congressional Estuary Caucus with Posey, were co-sponsors. Other backers in the House included U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla.

The bill “directs the Ocean Studies Board of National Academies to conduct a two-year study examining the science of ocean acidification and its impact on our estuaries” and will, Posey’s office insisted, “create a better understanding of coastal acidification so we can better manage and mitigate its effects on our nation’s estuaries and other natural treasures.” The bill funds the study with $1 million. But the bill did not garner any momentum in the U.S. Senate.

Continue reading ‘Bill Posey, Brian Mast bring back National Estuaries and Acidification Research Act’

Stressing out reef life earns marine researcher a nod from the PM

Australian scientists said they have discovered a detached coral reef on the Great Barrier Reef that exceeds even the height of iconic buildings like the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower.

In tanks across the world, marine researcher Christopher Cornwall’s​ team deliberately stressed coral and algae species, by slowly making the water more acidic. The work, recreating what’s happening in our oceans because of climate change, earned him the Prime Minister’s emerging scientist prize.

Reefs – from the famous coral ecosystems to forests of kelp – are facing an uncertain future, said the Victoria University research fellow. Human-made greenhouse gas emissions are affecting the oceans in two ways.

The additional carbon dioxide in the air is absorbed by the ocean, affecting the pH balance of the water, which is slowly becoming more acidic. Species that surround themselves with calcium carbonate skeletons struggle to maintain a stable internal environment. It’s this effect that Cornwall is mimicking in his tanks.

Continue reading ‘Stressing out reef life earns marine researcher a nod from the PM’

NOAA live! Alaska webinar 80 – a dive into daily life (text & video)

Come along for a virtual tour of the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s lab in Kodiak, Alaska! We’ll highlight a few of our daily operations, our crab research, our long-standing ocean acidification research projects and learn about our dive team operations!

Continue reading ‘NOAA live! Alaska webinar 80 – a dive into daily life (text & video)’

Effects of ocean acidification on Central Coast sea life (text & video)

MONTEREY, Calif. (KION) – Researchers along the California coast have been concerned about acidity levels in the water and what impacts it could have on local sea life.

Specifically, researchers have been looking at pH and acidity levels.

“One of the things is a lot of the monitoring that would’ve been going on without covid just didn’t happen,” says Steve Litvin with Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Although field teams weren’t out as much, the amount of cold water coming to the bay is reassuring.

“You know that every spring we have this upwelling that happens, that’s the cold deep water that comes up because of the wind conditions,” says Litvin.

That brings nutrient rich water which helps with the local kelp forest and local fisheries like the Monterey Abalone Company.

“We haven’t noticed anything ocean acidification related affecting our abalone or anything like that,” says Andrew Kim with the Monterey Abaone Company.

Their farm is underneath the Old Fisherman’s Wharf and has been for the past three decades.
They rely heavily on the local kelp to feed and grow their abalone.
Researchers have found kelp also acts as buffer against acidity in the water and incrases dissolved oxygen, creating condition conducive to calcification.

“I don’t think these are things you can see in a small chunk of time,” says Kim.

Researchers at MBARI agree that adaptations may be happening already but only time will show the true affects of ocean acidification.

“You know how these marine species may be adapted, ya know what the limits of that adaptation may be,” says Litvin.

This is something that researchers are keeping an eye on.

Continue reading ‘Effects of ocean acidification on Central Coast sea life (text & video)’

Study focuses on response to ocean acidification

Oregon State University researcher Ana Spalding is part of a new federally supported project investigating how communities along the West Coast are adapting to ocean acidification, with the goal of determining what they need to be more resilient.

An Oregon State University researcher is part of a new federally supported project investigating how communities along the West Coast are adapting to ocean acidification, with the goal of determining what they need to be more resilient.

Ana K. Spalding, an assistant professor of marine and coastal policy in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts, is leading a team looking into how shellfish industry participants in several towns along the Oregon and California coasts are responding to ocean acidification and where gaps in policy or resources have left them vulnerable.

The $1 million, three-year interdisciplinary project is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through its Ocean Acidification Program. At OSU, Spalding is working with Erika Wolters, assistant professor of public policy, and Master of Public Policy students Victoria Moreno, Emily Griffith and Ryan Hasert.

Continue reading ‘Study focuses on response to ocean acidification’

  • Reset

Subscribe

OA-ICC Highlights


%d bloggers like this: