Archive for the 'Press releases' Category

Excess nutrients, coupled with climate change, damage the most highly resilient corals

Over the last 30 years, 50% of the world’s coral reefs have suffered significant damage due to climate change and acidification with the last three being the worst in reefs recent history. Major coral bleaching events, which transpire when water temperatures are too high, have occurred in the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean and parts of the Red Sea.

Despite this, scientists at Bar-Ilan University and the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Science in Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat have demonstrated in previous research that coral reefs in the north Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba, unlike in other parts of the world, are resilient to climate change and acidification due to the history of the red sea since the last glacial maximum.

While this is encouraging, there is growing concern that local disturbances, such as excess nutrients from sewage, fish farms, and flash floods may pose a threat to the coral refuge in the Gulf of Aqaba, a narrow body of water with a relatively dense human population around it. To address this concern the Israeli scientists joined forces with researchers from the Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida and the University of Mississippi to determine how excess nutrients might negatively affect the coral reefs and reduce their resilience to climate change and acidification. Their results were just published in Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Continue reading ‘Excess nutrients, coupled with climate change, damage the most highly resilient corals’

CSUN graduate alumna adds to research on how ocean acidification effects coral larvae

CSUN biology graduate alumnus Jessica Bergman, studying the corals in Okinawa, Japan. Photo Credit: Jessica Bergman

CSUN biology graduate alumnus Jessica Bergman, studying the corals in Okinawa, Japan. Photo Credit: Jessica Bergman

The species that live within a coral reef are as diverse as the plants and animals in a rain forest. Understanding humankind’s effects on marine life and the ecology of underwater ecosystems can help scientists better understand how to help coral reefs survive the coming century.

With the goal of contributing to coral reef research, California State University, Northridge biology alumna Jessica L. Bergman submitted her graduate thesis project, “Behavior of Brooded Coral Larvae in Response to Elevated pCO2,” to the National Science Foundation (NSF) East Asia Pacific Summer Institute (EAPSI). Her project focused on the behavior and physiology of coral larvae and how it is effected by ocean acidification.

Continue reading ‘CSUN graduate alumna adds to research on how ocean acidification effects coral larvae’

New Arctic research on ocean acidification and microplastics brought live to classrooms around the world

Students around the world have been sending in questions directly to the Arctic Live Research Expedition scientists about their work on microplastics, ocean acidification and the impacts on marine life. Over 260 schools have signed up to get front row seats to the free XL Catlin Arctic Live education webcasts running from 4-10 May from Svalbard, a Norwegian island between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

Through 30 YouTube webcasts, students between the ages of 7 and 16 are accessing frontline research through interviews with scientists, live investigations and Q&A sessions with polar educator Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop.

Continue reading ‘New Arctic research on ocean acidification and microplastics brought live to classrooms around the world’

Internal control helps corals resist acidification

Acropora yongei coral colony Rottnest Island. Credit: Claire Ross, UWA.

Acropora yongei coral colony Rottnest Island. Credit: Claire Ross, UWA.

Scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at The University of Western Australia (UWA) have found that some corals are able to combat the effects of ocean acidification by controlling their own chemistry.

Coral reefs play an important role in protecting coastlines from damage caused by waves and storms, but also provide habitat and shelter for many marine organisms. However, major environmental challenges such as climate change, threaten the survival of coral reefs worldwide.

Continue reading ‘Internal control helps corals resist acidification’

Weeds take over kelp in high CO2 oceans

Weedy plants will thrive and displace long-lived, ecologically valuable kelp forests under forecast ocean acidification, new research from the University of Adelaide shows.

Published in the journal Ecology, the researchers describe how kelp forests are displaced by weedy marine plants in high CO2 conditions, equivalent to those predicted for the turn of the century.

Carbon emissions will fuel the growth of small weedlike species, but not kelps – allowing weeds to take over large tracts of coastal habitats, the researchers say.

Continue reading ‘Weeds take over kelp in high CO2 oceans’

Arctic survivalists

Phytoplankton assemblages in coastal waters remain productive, despite variable environmental conditions

They form the basis of the Arctic food web – and are extremely tough: even when the water becomes more acidic and the available light or temperatures change, various phytoplankton assemblages in the Arctic demonstrate undiminished productivity and biodiversity. This was the main finding presented in a study by researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute, which they jointly release with their Canadian colleagues advanced online in the journal Nature Climate Change. Yet the question of whether this source of food for seals, whales and commercially harvested fish species in the Arctic can ultimately cope with global climate change requires further research to answer.

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‘Ask a scientist’ – video series by the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network

The Alaska OA Network has launched a new video series where scientists answer a question about ocean acidification in 5 minutes or less.

April

Question: Are we seeing impacts from oceans acidification on species in Alaska right now?
Speaker: Bob Foy, NOAA Kodiak Lab

Continue reading ‘‘Ask a scientist’ – video series by the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book