Archive for the 'Media coverage' Category

Coral sediments in oceans could dissolve by next century

Side effect: In several reef systems, acidification also dissolves corals’ carbonate sediments.

Ocean acidification causes coral reef systems to erode

As oceans get more acidic, sediments that constitute coral reefs could begin dissolving by the end of this century, suggests a study published in the journal Science.



Continue reading ‘Coral sediments in oceans could dissolve by next century’

The race for adaptation in an increasingly acidic Salish Sea

dissolving pteropod NOAA

 In 2014 the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) found evidence of pteropods, free-swimming snails found in oceans around the world, were unable to develop shells due to increased ocean acidity. Photo: NOAA

Underneath the picturesque Salish Sea there are churning currents, with water swooshing in from the open ocean and surges of nutrient-rich fresh water from creeks and rivers that alter the sea’s chemistry — and can make life tough for species trying to survive in a rapidly changing environment.

And that’s why scientists are increasingly interested in the Salish Sea as they study ocean acidification — often called the evil twin of climate change.

Continue reading ‘The race for adaptation in an increasingly acidic Salish Sea’

Coral skeletal density threatened by ocean acidification


Decreased ocean pH will affect coral reef habitats and the organisms that call them home. (Credit: NOAA)

As the Earth’s climate warms and temperatures creep up around the world, acidity in the world’s oceans also rises. This trend is threatening coral reefs, and recent research has elucidated exactly how and why acidity impacts reefs, and how scientists can more accurately predict where coral will be at its most vulnerable.

Continue reading ‘Coral skeletal density threatened by ocean acidification’

Kachemak Bay may be a model for ocean acidification monitoring

In just a couple of weeks, researchers will be collecting the first batch of data from a new system monitoring ocean acidification in Kachemak Bay.

A system of five sensors, from Bear Cove near the head of the bay to the Homer Spit and Seldovia, have been collecting data related to ocean acidification since October. Researchers hope the system will provide some valuable answers on how ocean acidification takes place in near-shore environments.

Continue reading ‘Kachemak Bay may be a model for ocean acidification monitoring’

Ocean acidification: a chance for bipartisan cooperation in Congress?

Gettyimages 6529712641

Ocean acidification is affecting coastal economies in red and blue states. Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Sarah Cooley, a marine scientist at the Ocean Conservancy, explains the environmental group’s strategy for reaching out to both sides of the aisle on legislation to address ocean challenges in a divisive political environment.

The United States Congress can seem hopelessly divided along partisan lines, especially when it comes to climate change and environmental protection.

That’s why the Ocean Conservancy, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C., thinks about both the big and small pictures. Finding bipartisan support for proactive policies can seem like a long shot, but it doesn’t always have to be, according to Sarah Cooley, director of the group’s ocean acidification program. Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification: a chance for bipartisan cooperation in Congress?’

Oceans becoming more acidic, bad news for Northwest seafood industry

Carbon emissions from factories, power plants, cattle farms and other sources are giving the oceans a serious case of acid indigestion, and it’s not curable by desperately throwing TUMS into the waves.

University of Washington oceanographer Jan Newton came to Longview Tuesday to discuss how carbon dioxide emissions are causing “ocean acidificiation” and its consequences on the economy, ecosystems, and the salmon and oyster industries.

“The ocean has so many effects on us, directly and indirectly,” Newton said in an interview following her talk, delivered to about 30 people at Lower Columbia College. “We get a lot of our protein from the ocean. Half the oxygen we breathe comes from the phytoplankton in the ocean. … Ocean acidification … has the capacity to really disrupt food webs.”

Continue reading ‘Oceans becoming more acidic, bad news for Northwest seafood industry’

Some species could survive ocean acidification by leaning on neighbors

Klaus Stiefel / Flickr

Experiments with tiny ecosystems counteract some effects seen in lab tests.

The direct chemical effect of our CO2 emissions on our planet’s oceans gets far less attention than the indirect effects caused by global warming. But CO2 lowers the seawater’s pH—known as “ocean acidification”—and this  has been shown to be a serious problem for many species. Acidification makes it harder for critters with calcium carbonate shells to grow them, and it even changes the way fish behave.

The majority of studies that have looked at ocean acidification’s impact have fallen into two basic categories: laboratory experiments with carefully isolated conditions and species, and surveys of life at natural CO2 seeps on the seafloor. Each category has drawbacks and advantages. Lab experiments are carefully controlled and can provide unambiguous results. Surveys at natural CO2 seeps can integrate more processes, like species interactions or adaptation over generations. But it’s also true that seeps are surrounded by “normal” ecosystems that could be lending support.

Continue reading ‘Some species could survive ocean acidification by leaning on neighbors’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book