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 »
Posted on January 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Antarctic sea urchins may be able to adapt to global warming. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Lab testing measures response to rising temps, increasing acidification
FRISCO — Sea urchins around the Antarctic Peninsula are able to adapt to warmer and more acidic seawater conditions expected by the end of the century, at least in a laboratory setting.
The study, led by scientists from the British Antarctic Survey and Bangor University, involved collecting 288 sea urchins and and transporting them to the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: Antarctica, British Antarctic Survey, global warming, ocean acidification | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Love oysters? Then you should be worried about global warming and ocean acidification. bberwyn photo.
Natural buffering can’t keep up with increasing ocean acidification
FRISCO — Oysters at their earliest stages of development are already feeling the impacts of ocean acidification, scientists said this week, explaining that oyster larvae are sensitive to saturation state, rather than carbon dioxide or pH per se.
The saturation state is a measure of how corrosive seawater is to the calcium carbonate shells made by bivalve larvae, and how easy it is for larvae to produce their shells. A lower saturation rate is associated with more corrosive seawater. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate adaptation, global warming, ocean acidification, oceans, oyster hatcheries, Shellfish | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 12, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Some corals are less sensitive to ocean acidification than others, according to a new study. Photo via NOAA.
Study say soft Gorgonian coral species can still calcify under elevated CO2 levels
FRISCO — Not all corals are equal when it comes to withstanding the ravages of global warming.
Some Caribbean soft corals, known as gorgonians, may be able to calcify and grow under elevated carbon dioxide concentrations. Those corals may be more resilient to the ocean acidification levels projected by the end of the 21st century than previously thought, according to a new study published in the journal Coral Reef. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, coral reefs, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, coral reefs, global warming, ocean acidification, oceans | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 16, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Ocean acidification is an existential threat to many marine species and ecosystems.
Federal government has failed to implement several key steps required by 2009 law
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Federal agencies well recognize the environmental threats of increasing ocean acidification, but so far, the response has been lackluster at best, according to the Government Accountability Office.
In a report issued this week, the GAO said federal agencies have been slow in implementing several requirements of the 2009 Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act, including outlining the budget requirements for implementing the research and monitoring plan. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases, ocean acidification, oceans | Leave a comment »