Posted on October 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
This map shows the global distribution of aragonite saturation at 50 meters depth. The graphic shows areas that are most vulnerable to ocean acidification since they are regions where the saturation of aragonite is lower. Aragonite is a calcium carbonate mineral that shellfish use to build their shells. Graphic courtesy NOAA.
U.S. West Coast seen as vulnerable
There’s little doubt that all the world’s oceans are being acidified by the release of carbon dioxide, but some areas are more vulnerable than others, scientists said this week after measuring levels of aragonite, a substance that’s critical for shell-building organisms.
The new study, led by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers, says the Arctic and Antarctic oceans, and the upwelling ocean waters off the west coasts of North America, South America and Africa as regions are especially vulnerable to ocean acidification.
When cold waters in those regions, already loaded with CO2, circulate to the upper layers of the oceans they mix with surface waters that are absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, subjecting them to a double whammy of sorts, according to the scientists. The carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is coming primarily from human-caused fossil fuel emissions. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: carbon dioxide, climate change, Environment, greenhouse gases, ocean acidification, oceans | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 23, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Global warming is just getting started in the Antarctic region.
Increased seafloor life seen as negative global warming feedback
Shrinking sea ice around parts of Antarctica has spurred the growth of seafloor life that may help accumulating and bury carbon, researchers reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology.
“It was a surprise that life had been invisibly responding to climate change for more than a decade below one of the most obviously visible impacts of climate change: the ‘blueing’ poles,” said David Barnes, of the British Antarctic Survey. “We’ve found that a significant area of the planet, more than three million square kilometers, is a considerable carbon sink and, more importantly, a negative feedback on climate change.” Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: Antarctica, carbon dioxide, climate change, greenhouse gases, new Antarctica carbon sink | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘The big picture across the world and over the long run is clear — carbon dioxide is making the ice melt’
A Greenland glacier shows signs of wear and tear during the peak of the summer melt season. @bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — Just like today, there were regional nuances in the Earth’s climate at the end of the last ice age — like solar radiation and ocean currents — that were factors in the meltdown of ice sheets and glaciers.
But the single biggest overriding cause was a global rise in temperatures caused by an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, a team of researchers said in a new study that measured isotopes in boulders that were uncovered during the global meltdown 11,000 years ago. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, climate change, global warming | Tagged: carbon dioxide, climate change, glacier meltdown, glaciers, global warming, greenhouse gases | Leave a comment »
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 May 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Irrevocable climate change ahead for Planet Earth
FRISCO — For the first time since people started keeping track of such things, the concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was above 400 parts per million for an entire month.
Climate scientists say the readings from March 2015 are another significant milestone along the path to a dangerously overheated world, as carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping pollution continue drive global warming. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: carbon dioxide, climate change, CO2, CO2 400 ppm, Environment, global CO2 average, global warming | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Fjords like this one in Iceland may play an important role in regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide. @bberwyn photo.
Deep, cold and oxygen-starved, fjords may keep organic carbon from entering the atmosphere for many centuries
FRISCO — The majestic fjords of the far north may have played a key role in buffering the atmosphere against variations in carbon dioxide levels associated with rapid climate change at the beginning and end of past ice ages.
A study by New Zealand scientists estimates that fjords capture and store about 18 million tons of organic carbon each year. That’s equal to about 11 percent of annual marine carbon capture globally, said Dr. Candida Savage of New Zealand’s University of Otago, after publishing her findings in the journal Nature Geoscience. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment | Tagged: carbon dioxide, carbon sequestration, climate change, fjords, global warming, ocean carbon cycle, organic carbon | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Carbon dioxide … and more.
Can the EPA’s clean power plan help tame the global warming dragon?
FRISCO — U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have dropped 9 percent in the last 10 years, the EPA said this week, releasing its 20th annual national greenhouse gas inventory.
The latest tally is current through 2013, which shows a 2 percent increase from the previous year, due to increased energy consumption across all economic sectors and increased use of coal for electricity generation. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming | Tagged: carbon dioxide, climate change, EPA, global warming, US greenhouse gas emissions inventory | 1 Comment »