Archive for the 'Science' Category

Solid state sensor for simultaneous measurement of total alkalinity and pH of seawater

A novel design is demonstrated for a solid state, reagent-less sensor capable of rapid and simultaneous measurement of pH and Total Alkalinity (AT) using ion sensitive field effect transistor (ISFET) technology to provide a simplified means of characterization of the aqueous carbon dioxide system through measurement of two “master variables”: pH and AT. ISFET-based pH sensors that achieve 0.001 precision are widely used in various oceanographic applications. A modified ISFET is demonstrated to perform a nL-scale acid-base titration of AT in under 40 s. This method of measuring AT, a Coulometric Diffusion Titration, involves electrolytic generation of titrant, H+, through the electrolysis of water on the surface of the chip via a microfabricated electrode eliminating the requirement of external reagents. Characterization has been performed in seawater as well as titrating individual components (i.e. OH, HCO3, CO32-, B(OH)4, PO43-) of seawater AT. The seawater measurements are consistent with the design in reaching the benchmark goal of 0.5% precision in AT over the range of seawater AT of ~2200-2500 μmol kg-1 which demonstrates great potential for autonomous sensing.

Continue reading ‘Solid state sensor for simultaneous measurement of total alkalinity and pH of seawater’

Calcifying algae maintain settlement cues to larval abalone following algal exposure to extreme ocean acidification

Ocean acidification (OA) increasingly threatens marine systems, and is especially harmful to calcifying organisms. One important question is whether OA will alter species interactions. Crustose coralline algae (CCA) provide space and chemical cues for larval settlement. CCA have shown strongly negative responses to OA in previous studies, including disruption of settlement cues to corals. In California, CCA provide cues for seven species of harvested, threatened, and endangered abalone. We exposed four common CCA genera and a crustose calcifying red algae, Peyssonnelia (collectively CCRA) from California to three pCO2 levels ranging from 419-2,013 µatm for four months. We then evaluated abalone (Haliotis rufescens) settlement under ambient conditions among the CCRA and non-algal controls that had been previously exposed to the pCO2 treatments. Abalone settlement and metamorphosis increased from 11% in the absence of CCRA to 45-69% when CCRA were present, with minor variation among CCRA genera. Though all CCRA genera reduced growth during exposure to increased pCO2, abalone settlement was unaffected by prior CCRA exposure to increased pCO2. Thus, we find no impacts of OA exposure history on CCRA provision of settlement cues. Additionally, there appears to be functional redundancy in genera of CCRA providing cues to abalone, which may further buffer OA effects.

Continue reading ‘Calcifying algae maintain settlement cues to larval abalone following algal exposure to extreme ocean acidification’

Contrasting physiological responses to future ocean acidification among Arctic copepod populations

Widespread ocean acidification (OA) is modifying the chemistry of the global ocean, and the Arctic is recognised as the region where the changes will progress at the fastest rate. Moreover, Arctic species show lower capacity for cellular homeostasis and acid-base regulation rendering them particularly vulnerable to OA. In the present study, we found physiological differences in OA response across geographically separated populations of the keystone Arctic copepod Calanus glacialis. In copepodite stage CIV, measured reaction norms of ingestion rate and metabolic rate showed severe reductions in ingestion and increased metabolic expenses in two populations from Svalbard (Kongsfjord and Billefjord) whereas no effects were observed in a population from the Disko Bay, West Greenland. At pHT 7.87, which has been predicted for the Svalbard west coast by year 2100, these changes resulted in reductions in scope for growth of 19% in the Kongsfjord and a staggering 50% in the Billefjord. Interestingly, these effects were not observed in stage CV copepodites from any of the three locations. It seems that CVs may be more tolerant to OA perhaps due to a general physiological reorganisation to meet low intracellular pH during hibernation. Needless to say, the observed changes in the CIV stage will have serious implications for the C. glacialis population health status and growth around Svalbard. However, OA tolerant populations such as the one in the Disko Bay could help to alleviate severe effects in C. glacialis as a species.

Continue reading ‘Contrasting physiological responses to future ocean acidification among Arctic copepod populations’

Environmental controls on the elemental composition of a Southern Hemisphere strain of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi

A series of semi-continuous incubation experiments were conducted with the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi strain NIWA1108 (Southern Ocean isolate) to examine the effects of five environmental drivers (nitrate concentration, phosphate concentration, irradiance, temperature and pCO2) on both the physiological rates and elemental composition. Here, we report the alteration of the elemental composition of E. huxleyi in response to the changes in these environmental drivers. A series of dose response curves for the cellular elemental composition of E. huxleyi were fitted for each of the five drivers across an environmentally-representative gradient. The importance of each driver in regulating the elemental composition of E. huxleyi was ranked using a semi-quantitative approach. The percentage variation in elemental composition arising from the change in each driver between present day and model-projected conditions for the year 2100 were calculated. Temperature was the most important driver controlling both cellular particulate organic and inorganic carbon content, whereas nutrient concentrations were the most important regulator of cellular particulate nitrogen and phosphorus of E. huxleyi. In contrast, elevated pCO2 had the greatest influence on cellular particulate inorganic carbon to organic carbon ratio, resulting in a decrease in the ratio. Our results indicate that the different environmental drivers each play specific roles in regulating the cellular elemental composition of E. huxleyi with wide-reaching implications for coccolithophore biogeochemistry, as a consequence of the regulation of E. huxleyi physiological processes.

Continue reading ‘Environmental controls on the elemental composition of a Southern Hemisphere strain of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi’

Opening of the new Ocean CArbon Data System (OCADS) Project

Message to the Ocean Carbon Community from Alex Kozyr, NOAA Affiliate:

Dear Ocean Carbon Scientists,

We are pleased to announce that NOAA/NCEI has opened the new Ocean CArbon Data System, (OCADS) Project (former CDIAC Ocean) web page for public use. The OCADS web site address is

OCADS is responsible for hosting and providing access for ocean carbon data collected from around the world, as previously performed by the Oceans component of the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC-Oceans) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Continue reading ‘Opening of the new Ocean CArbon Data System (OCADS) Project’

Effect of low pH on marine mollusca at Rangbai coast, Gujarat

(…) The coastal stretches of Gujarat have several industries, which are based on salt as raw material. The saltpan activity not only provides the livelihood for a large number of unskilled workers but also provides the raw material for several such chemical industries.

The present study was conducted to know the low pH is affected by Marine Molluscan diversity from Rangbai coast. We have tried to carefully observe seasonal variation. Mainly during study observed that in December month the total number of Molluscan species is 50 while January month the number of Molluscan species is direct 28.from August to December pH was not shown any significant variation, while in January month pH was 4.3.average sea water pH is 7 to 8 neither acidic nor basic. For molluscan development, acidic sea water is not suitable for molluscan growth and development. (…)

Continue reading ‘Effect of low pH on marine mollusca at Rangbai coast, Gujarat’

The potential of 230Th for detection of ocean acidification impacts on pelagic carbonate production

Concentrations of dissolved 230Th in the ocean water column increase with depth due to scavenging and downward particle flux. Due to the 230Th scavenging process, any change in the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) fraction of the marine particle flux due to changes in biological CaCO3 hard shell production as a consequence of progressing ocean acidification would be reflected in the dissolved 230Th activity. Our prognostic simulations with a biogeochemical ocean general circulation model using different scenarios for the reduction of CaCO3production under ocean acidification and different greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCPs 8.5 to 2.6) reveal the potential for deep 230Th measurements to detect reduced CaCO3 production at the sea surface. The time of emergence of an acidification induced signal on dissolved 230Th is of the same order of magnitude as for alkalinity measurements. Yet, deep ocean 230Th concentrations are less affected by seasonal and multiyear variability than surface alkalinity. Thus, deep ocean 230Th observations could be advantageous to guide monitoring and detection campaigns. Furthermore, given that the precision of 230Th measurements may potentially improve in the near future, earlier detection of ocean acidification impact signals would be possible. Our results indicate that the deep Pacific Ocean and the deep Southern Ocean are the most suitable regions for selected regular reoccupations of deep reaching 230Th stations.

Continue reading ‘The potential of 230Th for detection of ocean acidification impacts on pelagic carbonate production’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book