Posted on July 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Scientists ‘shocked’ by scope of changes
Scientists say there will dramatic changes in ocean plankton communities by the end of the 21st century. Photo courtesy NOAA.
FRISCO — Global warming is likely to have a big effect on the abundance and diversity of ocean phytoplankton, with some species dying out and other flourishing, researchers said after completing a study that tries to anticipate the impacts of ocean acidification.
Since pre-industrial times, the pH of the oceans has dropped from an average of 8.2 to 8.1 today, and by end of the century, could drop to 7.8 — much lower than any levels seen in open ocean marine communities today. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, Environment, ocean acidification, phytoplankton | 2 Comments »
Posted on July 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Costly seawater treatment may be needed by 2040
Shellfish are particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification. @bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — Ocean water around parts of Alaska is acidifying so fast that shellfish hatcheries may soon have to use costly treatment systems to continue commercial operations.
“Our research shows there could be significant effects from ocean acidification on Alaska’s emerging shellfish hatchery industry in a matter of two and half decades,” said Jeremy Mathis, Ph.D., an oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and a co-author of the study, published this week in PLOS ONE.
“We need to continue to partner with industry and other stakeholders to make sure we’re providing the environmental intelligence needed by industry to answer key questions and make decisions to meet these challenges,” Mathis said. Continue reading
Filed under: climate change, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: Alaska, aquaculture, climate change, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification, shellfish hatchery | 2 Comments »
Posted on July 1, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Increasingly corrosive ocean waters pose a serious threat to shell-building species and other marine life.
‘Future generations will look back and wonder why we didn’t do everything we could to save the world’s oceans …’
FRISCO — Citing the growing threat to the world’s oceans, environmental advocates want the federal government to regulate carbon dioxide under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
The regulations have been used to limit emissions of other harmful chemicals, including chlorofluorocarbons, PCBs and asbestos.
“Time’s running out to avoid a mass extinction of wildlife in our oceans,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “It may not look like a toxic chemical, but when there’s too much CO2 in the ocean, it turns seawater corrosive and dissolves the protective shells that marine animals need to survive,” Sakashita said. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases, Marine biology, ocean acidification, ocean conservation | Tagged: carbon dioxide, CO2, Environment, greenhouse gases, ocean acidification, oceans, Toxic Substances Control Act. | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 18, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Pteropods swimming in the Scotia Sea, where scientists have also tracked the impacts of ocean acidification. Photo courtesy British Antarctic Survey.
Impacts likely to ripple through ocean ecosystem
FRISCO — Parts of the Arctic Ocean are acidifying so fast that some marine species may see their ability to build and maintain shells threatened as early as 2030, according to new research by NOAA, the University of Alaska, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
The study, published in the journal Oceanography, shows that surface waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas could reach a critical level of acidity within 15 years, with the Bering Sea reaching the threshold by 2044. Continue reading
Filed under: climate change, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: Beaufort Sea, Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, climate change, greenhouse gas pollution, ocean acidification | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Rising CO2 concentrations present fundamental threat to oceans.
Current rate of acidification similar to changes during ancient extinction event
FRISCO — Climate scientists are constantly looking at the past to try and understand the present and forecast the future, and new study by University of Edinburgh researchers offers some worrisome clues about the current rate of ocean acidification.
After tracing changes in ocean chemistry that happened more than 250 million years ago, the scientists said that today’s rate of ocean acidification is similar to changes that led to the greatest known extinctions of marine life during the so-called Permian-Triassic Boundary extinction, which wiped out more than 90 per cent of marine species and more than two-thirds of the animals living on land. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, Environment, ocean acidification, ocean ecosysyems, Permian Triassic extinction | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 8, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A section of the Great Barrier Reef photographed from the International Space Station.
Australian scientists offer common-sense plan to restore coral reef ecosystem
FRISCO — After a 40-year span when the Great Barrier Reef lost half its coral cover, and with global warming looming for the future, Australian scientists say fundamental changes are needed to protect the reef.
Better policies focusing on science, protection and conservation are the key, a team of leading researchers wrote this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, arguing that all the stressors on the Reef need to be reduced for it to recover. Continue reading
Filed under: coral reefs, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: Australia, coral reefs, Environment, global warming, Great Barrier Reef | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
More information equals more conservation options
FRISCO — After issuing a general warning about the potential for widespread coral reef bleaching this year, federal scientists now say they have the ability to make more detailed projections about the timing and geographic distribution of such events.
The concerns this summer focus around emerging El Niño conditions, which could overheat parts of the world’s oceans that have already been hovering at near-record temperatures. Most coral reefs in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico will experience bleaching by mid-century, but if scientists can pinpoint the timing, it gives them more conservation options. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, coral reefs, El Niño, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: Caribbean, climate change, coral reef bleaching, coral reefs, Environment, global warming | 1 Comment »