Posted on February 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New England, Gulf of Mexico, Mid-Atlantic regions all vulnerable to ocean acidification threats
Love oysters? Then you should be worried about global warming. bberwyn photo
FRISCO — Some coastal communities with long traditions of relying on shellfish to support their economies could be facing a triple whammy of pollution.
Increasing ocean acidification, combined with cold, upwelling water and polluted runoff from land could put many of those communities at long-term economic risk, according to a new study funded by the National Science Foundation’s National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center.
“Ocean acidification has already cost the oyster industry in the Pacific Northwest nearly $110 million and jeopardized about 3,200 jobs,” said Julie Ekstrom, who was lead author on the study while with the Natural Resources Defense Council. She is now at the University of California at Davis. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification, oysters, Shellfish | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Coral reefs near Panama stopped growing during an exstended phase of La Niña-like conditions in the Pacific Ocean. Photo courtesy NOAA.
‘It’s possible that anthropogenic climate change may once again be pushing these reefs towards another regional collapse …’
FRISCO — Past climate shifts resulting in La Niña-like conditions off the coast of Panamá resulted in a 2,500-year shutdown in coral reef growth, scientists said this week, warning that human-caused global warming could lead to similar conditions in the coming decades.
“We are in the midst of a major environmental change that will continue to stress corals over the coming decades, so the lesson from this study is that there are these systems such as coral reefs that are sensitive to environmental change and can go through this kind of wholesale collapse in response to these environmental changes,” said Kim Cobb, an associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, climate change, coral reefs, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, coral reef decline, coral reefs, global warming, La Niña, Panama | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 15, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘Changes in ocean carbon storage are important drivers of natural atmospheric CO2 variations …’
Melting icebergs along the shore of Dundee Island, near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — The Southern Ocean’s carbon cycle may be a huge driver of climatic shifts between ice ages and interglacial periods, according to new research published last week in Nature.
The study shows that carbon stored in an isolated reservoir deep in the Southern Ocean re-connected with the atmosphere, driving a rise in atmospheric CO2 and an increase in global temperatures that may have helped end the global ice ages. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, global warming, ocean carbon cycle, Southern Ocean | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 1, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘Our modern ocean is moving into a state that has no precedent in human history’
FRISCO — If climate clues from ages gone by are any indication, then the world’s oceans could see an abrupt, extensive loss of oxygen as the atmosphere warms and ice sheets melt.
That’s exactly what happened about 10,000 to 17,000 years ago, according to new research by scientists with the University of California, Davis, who analyzed marine sediment cores from different world regions to document the extent to which low oxygen zones in the ocean have expanded in the past, due to climate change. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, global warming, ice age, ocean acidification, ocean hypoxia | 4 Comments »
Posted on January 23, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New study projects staggering coral losses as oceans warm
A school of surgeonfish cruise coral reefs in the Pacific. Photo courtesy NOAA.
*More Summit Voice reporting on coral reefs
FRISCO —Even under a moderate climate change scenario, with just 1 to 2 degrees Celsius warming, the Great Barrier Reef may be doomed to become just a shadow of itself within a few decades, researcher said this week, warning of the cumulative impacts of warmer water, acidification, pollution and over-fishing.
In the short term, the combined effects of those impacts enable seaweed to over-run corals, in effect suffocating them. In the longer term, interactions among reef organisms would lead to dominance by other groups, including sponges and soft corals known as gorgonians. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, coral reefs, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, global warming, Great Barrier Reef, ocean acidification | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Scientists eye impacts to high-latitude marine ecosystems
Melting glaciers, like the Dachstein in Austria, may be a big source of dissolved carbon with the potential to affect downstream ecosystems. bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — As if rising sea levels aren’t enough to worry about, U.S. Geological Survey scientists say melting glaciers may also adding significant amounts of carbon to the oceans, where it’s readily available to microscopic organisms at the base of the food chain.
By 2050, that carbon could total as much as 17 million tons, equal to about half of the annual flux of dissolved organic carbon from the Amazon River, the researchers reported in the journal Nature Geoscience, cautioning that their calculations are subject to revision.
The study aimed to better understand the role glaciers play in the global carbon cycle, especially as climate warming continues to reduce glacier ice stores and release ice-locked organic carbon into downstream freshwater and marine ecosystems. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: carbon cycle, climate change, Environment, glacier meltdown, global warming | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 16, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
More heat ahead …
Record warmth around the world in 2014.
FRISCO — 2014 ended up as the warmest year ever for planet Earth, but just by a whisker, edging out 2005 and 2010 by 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit. The new temperature record was driven by persistent warmth across the world’s oceans, which have been absorbing most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gas pollutants.
Heat absorbed in the oceans will fuel global warming for years to come, said Tom Karl, directory of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, which generates the monthly and annual climate reports for the U.S. and the world. With greenhouse gas emissions still rising, Karl said more record-warm years are ahead. Read the full report here. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, extreme weather, global warming, Greenland, ocean acidification | Tagged: 2014 global temperature, climate change, global warming, hottest year on record | 3 Comments »