Posted on November 12, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Some sharks may lose their edge as the world’s oceans become more acidic in the next few decades. Photo courtesy Paula Whitfield, NOAA.
‘In warmer water, sharks are hungrier but with increased CO2 they won’t be able to find their food’
The effects of ocean acidification on shellfish are already well understood. There’s little doubt shell-forming species like oysters will face big challenges as the water chemistry changes. In some cases, more acidic water will simply corrode there shells.
But a new study found that some top ocean predators will also be affected. Ocean acidification will impair the ability of some sharks to hunt and find food, according to researchers at the University of Adelaide (Australia). Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, global warming, marine conservation, ocean acidification, sharks | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 8, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Jellyfish are resilient to ocean acidification and may spread to new areas as the oceans absorb more CO2. Photo by Dan Hershman via the Creative Commons.
Plymouth University researchers track ocean impacts of rising CO2 levels
Killer algae outbreaks and toxic jellyfish blooms may spread to new areas of the globe as oceans become more acidic, scientists found in a new study.
Species like Japanese kelp and stinging jellyfish are much more resilient to rising CO2 levels than hard-shelled ocean creatures, whose shells can simply dissolve in more corrosive water.
“We are witnessing the spread of marine life that cause problems, such as toxic jellyfish blooms and rotting algal mats,” said Professor Jason Hall-Spencer, of Plymouth University. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, ocean acidification | Tagged: aquatic invasive species, climate change, Environment, greenhouse gases, ocean acidification | Leave a comment »
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 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Commercial oyster growers on the West Coast are already feeling the impacts of ocean acidification.
Industry seeks ways to mitigate impacts
The issue of ocean acidification may not have a reached a critical mass in general public awareness yet, but more than 80 percent of people working in the shellfish industry along the U.S. West Coast are convinced that it’s a growing problem.
About half the people in the industry report that they’ve already experienced some impact from ocean acidification, according to a survey and study led by researchers at Oregon State University.
Filed under: Environment, ocean acidification | Tagged: climate change, global warming, ocean acidification, oyster farms, shellfish industry | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Ocean acidification may have far-reaching effects on algae.
‘Subtle changes in calcification can cause dramatic changes in skeletal performance …’
LINZ — Scientists working at an underwater volcano near Sicily say they have new evidence that ocean acidification could change fundamental parts of marine ecosystems.
Their research shows that acidification weakens algal skeletons. Even a small loss of skeletal calcification caused by exposure to corrosive waters can have a significant impact and leave algae at risk of losing access to light and nutrients, the researchers concluded in a new paper published in the Royal Society’s Biology Letters. Continue reading
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Posted on August 4, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘If we do not implement emissions reductions measures in line with the 2 degrees Celsius target in time, we will not be able to preserve ocean life as we know it’
FRISCO — Removing CO2 from the atmosphere as a last-ditch effort to avoid dangerous climate change probably wouldn’t be enough to ameliorate impacts to the world’s oceans, where the legacy of carbon pollution will likely play out for centuries to come in the form of deep ocean heat and increasing acidification.
These changes would linger even if the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration were to be restored to pre-industrial levels at some point in the future, according to a new Nature Climate Change paper from an international team including Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institution. This is due to the tremendous inertia of the ocean system. Continue reading
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Posted on August 1, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Reserarchers see changes in embryo development
A drawing of an Antarctic dragonfish from a report on the deep-sea fishes collected by H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873-1876. Günther, Albert C. L. G. (Albert Carl Ludwig Gotthilf).
FRISCO — In another clue as to how warmer and more acidic waters will affect ocean life, scientists with the University of California Davis and San Francisco State University have found that the combination speeds up the development of dragonfish larvae.
The researchers studied the fish in part because their embryos are slow to form, which could make them more susceptible to changed conditions. The findings suggest that higher levels of CO2 and warmer waters have a big impact on the survival and development of the Antarctic dragonfish. The research article was published in the journal Conservation Physiology. Continue reading
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