Posts Tagged 'methods'

An enhanced ocean acidification observing network: from people to technology to data synthesis and information exchange

A successful integrated ocean acidification (OA) observing network must include (1) scientists and technicians from a range of disciplines from physics to chemistry to biology to technology development; (2) government, private, and intergovernmental support; (3) regional cohorts working together on regionally specific issues; (4) publicly accessible data from the open ocean to coastal to estuarine systems; (5) close integration with other networks focusing on related measurements or issues including the social and economic consequences of OA; and (6) observation-based informational products useful for decision making such as management of fisheries and aquaculture. The Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON), a key player in this vision, seeks to expand and enhance geographic extent and availability of coastal and open ocean observing data to ultimately inform adaptive measures and policy action, especially in support of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. GOA-ON works to empower and support regional collaborative networks such as the Latin American Ocean Acidification Network, supports new scientists entering the field with training, mentorship, and equipment, refines approaches for tracking biological impacts, and stimulates development of lower-cost methodology and technologies allowing for wider participation of scientists. GOA-ON seeks to collaborate with and complement work done by other observing networks such as those focused on carbon flux into the ocean, tracking of carbon and oxygen in the ocean, observing biological diversity, and determining short- and long-term variability in these and other ocean parameters through space and time.

Continue reading ‘An enhanced ocean acidification observing network: from people to technology to data synthesis and information exchange’

Spectrophotometric determination of pH and carbonate ion concentrations in seawater: choices, constraints and consequences

• Spectrophotometric pH and carbonate ion measurements in seawater.

• Different application platforms, such as shipboard, underway, in situ, etc.

• Quality improvement with indicator purification, sample pre-treatment, etc.

• Carbonate ion to be considered as the fifth parameter describing carbonate system.

Accurate and precise marine CO2 system measurements are important for marine carbon cycle research and investigations of ocean acidification. Seawater pH is important because it can be used to characterize a wide range of chemical and biogeochemical processes. Saturation states of calcium carbonate minerals, which are directly proportional to carbonate ion concentration ([CO32-]), influence biogenic calcification and rates of carbonate dissolution. Spectrophotometric pH and carbonate ion measurements can both benefit greatly from the high sensitivity, stability, consistency and processing speed made possible through automation. Spectrophotometric methods are well-suited for shipboard, underway and in situ deployments under harsh conditions. Spectrophotometric pH measurements typically have a reproducibility of 0.0004-0.001 for shipboard and laboratory measurements and 0.0014-0.004 for in situ measurements. Shipboard spectrophotometric measurements of [CO32-] are becoming common on research expeditions. This review highlights the development of methods and instrumentation for spectrophotometric pH and [CO32-] measurements, and discusses the pros and cons of current technology. A comprehensive summary of the analytical merits of different flow analysis instruments is given. Aspects of measurement protocols that bear on the quality of pH and [CO32-] measurements, such as indicator purification, sample pretreatment, etc., are also described. Based on three decades of experience with seawater analysis, this review includes method recommendations and perspectives directly applicable or potentially applicable to pH and [CO32-] analysis of seawater.

Continue reading ‘Spectrophotometric determination of pH and carbonate ion concentrations in seawater: choices, constraints and consequences’

In vivo 31P-MRS of muscle bioenergetics in marine invertebrates: future ocean limits scallops’ performance


Dynamic in vivo 31P-NMR spectroscopy in combination with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was used to study muscle bioenergetics of boreal and Arctic scallops (Pecten maximus and Chlamys islandica) to test the hypothesis that future Ocean Warming and Acidification (OWA) will impair the performance of marine invertebrates.

Materials & methods

Experiments were conducted following the recommendations for studies of muscle bioenergetics in vertebrates. Animals were long-term incubated under different environmental conditions: controls at 0 °C for C. islandica and 15 °C for P. maximus under ambient PCO2 of 0.039 kPa, a warm exposure with +5 °C (5 °C and 20 °C, respectively) under ambient PCO2 (OW group), and a combined exposure to warmed acidified conditions (5 °C and 20 °C, 0.112 kPa PCO2, OWA group). Scallops were placed in a 4.7 T MR animal scanner and the energetic status of the adductor muscle was determined under resting conditions using in vivo 31P-NMR spectroscopy. The surplus oxidative flux (Qmax) was quantified by recording the recovery of arginine phosphate (PLA) directly after moderate swimming exercise of the scallops.


Measurements led to reproducible results within each experimental group. Under projected future conditions resting PLA levels (PLArest) were reduced, indicating reduced energy reserves in warming exposed scallops per se. In comparison to vertebrate muscle tissue surplus Qmax of scallop muscle was about one order of magnitude lower. This can be explained by lower mitochondrial contents and capacities in invertebrate than vertebrate muscle tissue. Warm exposed scallops showed a slower recovery rate of PLA levels (kPLA) and a reduced surplus Qmax. Elevated PCO2 did not affected PLA recovery further.


Dynamic in vivo 31P-NMR spectroscopy revealed constrained residual aerobic power budgets in boreal and Arctic scallops under projected ocean warming and acidification indicating that scallops are susceptible to future climate change. The observed reduction in muscular PLArest of scallops coping with a warmer and acidified ocean may be linked to an enhanced energy demand and reduced oxygen partial pressures (PO2) in their body fluids. Delayed recovery from moderate swimming at elevated temperature is a result of reduced PLArest concentrations associated with a warm-induced reduction of a residual aerobic power budget.
Continue reading ‘In vivo 31P-MRS of muscle bioenergetics in marine invertebrates: future ocean limits scallops’ performance’

A new software of calculating the pH values of coastal seawater: considering the effects of low molecular weight organic acids


• Low molecular weight organic acids concentrations were high in the coastal seawater.

• Low molecular weight organic acids can reduce the pH value of the seawater.

• Software of Org·TCO2TA can more accurately calculate the pH of the coastal seawater.


Effects of low molecular weight organic acids (LMWOAs) on the pH value of seawater were investigated in the surface seawater of the Jiaozhou Bay, China. The new software of Org·TCO2TA was developed to calculate the pH values of seawater based on the alkalinity (Alk) equation where organic acid Alk (Org-Alk) was separated into LMWOA Alk (LMWOA-Alk) and humic acid Alk (HA-Alk). In the calculations, all dissociation constants of organic acids were from previous literature. In our study, the average concentration of total LMWOAs was 14.5 ± 11.2 μmol·kg−1 SW. pH values from the Org·TCO2TA software were closer to the pH values from spectrophotometric measurement than those from the CO2SYS program, indicating pH values can be influenced by high concentrations of LMWOAs in coastal seawater of the Jiaozhou Bay. Although the differences still existed between the pH values from the spectrophotometric method and the calculated pH values from the Org·TCO2TA software due to the influence of various factors, including the analytical errors of dissolved inorganic carbon and nutrients, the new software can calculate the pH values of coastal seawater more accurately by considering the effects of LMWOAs.

Continue reading ‘A new software of calculating the pH values of coastal seawater: considering the effects of low molecular weight organic acids’

The pH dependency of the boron isotopic composition of diatom opal (Thalassiosira weissflogii)

The high latitude oceans are key areas of carbon and heat exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean. As such, they are a focus of both modern oceanographic and palaeoclimate research. However, most palaeoclimate proxies that could provide a long-term perspective are based on calcareous organisms, such as foraminifera, that are scarce or entirely absent in deep-sea sediments south of 50° latitude in the Southern Ocean and north of 40° in the North Pacific. As a result, proxies need to be developed for the opal-based organisms (e.g. diatoms) that are found at these high latitudes, and which dominate the biogenic sediments that are recovered from these regions. Here we present a method for the analysis of the boron (B) content and isotopic composition (δ11B) of diatom opal. We also apply it for the first time to evaluate the relationship between seawater pH and δ11B and B concentration ([B]) in the frustules of the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii, cultured at a range of pCO2/pH. In agreement with existing data, we find that the [B] of the cultured diatom frustules increases with increasing pH (Mejia et al., 2013). δ11B shows a relatively well-defined negative trend with increasing pH; a completely distinct relationship from any other biomineral previously measured. This relationship not only has implications for the magnitude of the isotopic fractionation that occurs during boron incorporation into opal, but also allows us to explore the potential of the boron-based proxies for palaeo-pH and palaeo-CO2 reconstruction in high latitude marine sediments that have, up until now, eluded study due to the lack of suitable carbonate material.

Continue reading ‘The pH dependency of the boron isotopic composition of diatom opal (Thalassiosira weissflogii)’

Observing changes in ocean carbonate chemistry: our autonomous future

Our developing network of autonomous carbonate observations is currently targeted at surface ocean CO2 fluxes and compact ecosystem observatories. New integration of developed sensors on gliders and surface vehicles will increase our coastal and regional observational capability. Most autonomous platforms observe a single carbonate parameter, which leaves us reliant on the use of empirical relationships to constrain the rest of the carbonate system. Sensors now in development promise the ability to observe multiple carbonate system parameters from a range of vehicles in the near future.

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Investigating marine bio‐calcification mechanisms in a changing ocean with in vivo and high‐resolution ex vivo Raman spectroscopy

Ocean acidification poses a serious threat to marine calcifying organisms, yet experimental and field studies have found highly diverse responses among species and environments. Our understanding of the underlying drivers of differential responses to ocean acidification is currently limited by difficulties in directly observing and quantifying the mechanisms of bio‐calcification. Here, we present Raman spectroscopy techniques for characterizing the skeletal mineralogy and calcifying fluid chemistry of marine calcifying organisms such as corals, coralline algae, foraminifera, and fish (carbonate otoliths). First, our in vivo Raman technique is the ideal tool for investigating non‐classical mineralization pathways. This includes calcification by amorphous particle attachment, which has recently been controversially suggested as a mechanism by which corals resist the negative effects of ocean acidification. Second, high‐resolution ex vivo Raman mapping reveals complex banding structures in the mineralogy of marine calcifiers, and provides a tool to quantify calcification responses to environmental variability on various timescales from days to years. We describe the new insights into marine bio‐calcification that our techniques have already uncovered, and we consider the wide range of questions regarding calcifier responses to global change that can now be proposed and addressed with these new Raman spectroscopy tools.

Continue reading ‘Investigating marine bio‐calcification mechanisms in a changing ocean with in vivo and high‐resolution ex vivo Raman spectroscopy’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book