M/V Columbia starts its study of ocean acidification

"An Alaska state ferry recently started work doubling as an ocean research platform.

The M/V Columbia, which conducts weekly runs between Bellingham, Washington and Alaska, has been installed with a seawater monitoring system to study ocean acidification, a byproduct of human-caused climate change which could affect sea life in Alaska and around the world. [...]"

Source: Juneau Empire

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A strong case for limiting climate change

"As a gigantic carbon sink, the ocean has taken up about a third of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere by human activities. But when absorbed by seawater, the greenhouse gas triggers chemical reactions, causing the ocean to acidify. Ocean acidification affects ecosystems and important services the ocean provides to humankind. This includes the regulation of the Earth's climate, food provision, recreation as well as biodiversity as a condition for intact and functioning ecosystems. [...]"

Source: EurekAlert

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Acidifying oceans a bad trip for marine ecosystems

"A more acidic ocean under climate change threatens to reconfigure entire ecosystems by advantaging some fish species to the detriment of others, a new study has found. The research is one of only a few that go beyond the lab to study how species interactions are changing in nature under more extreme conditions.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide and the University of Hong Kong showed that a higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the oceans, which reacts to turn seawater more acidic, favors common fish species, allowing them to double their populations. But that might also mean the downfall of rarer, subordinate competitors, leading to biodiversity loss and a total restructuring of fish communities, with numerous ecological impacts. [...]"

Source: Mongabay

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Oyster reproduction is compromised by acidification experienced seasonally in coastal regions


"Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have been rising during the past century, leading to ocean acidification (OA). Coastal and estuarine habitats experience annual pH variability that vastly exceeds the magnitude of long-term projections in open ocean regions. Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) reproduction season coincides with periods of low pH occurrence in estuaries, thus we investigated effects of moderate [...] and severe OA [...] on oyster gametogenesis, fertilization, and early larval development successes. [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Myrina Boulais et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-13480-3

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Pteropods are excellent recorders of surface temperature and carbonate ion concentration


"Pteropods are among the first responders to ocean acidification and warming, but have not yet been widely explored as carriers of marine paleoenvironmental signals. In order to characterize the stable isotopic composition of aragonitic pteropod shells and their variation in response to climate change parameters, such as seawater temperature, pteropod shells (Heliconoides inflatus) were collected along a latitudinal transect in the Atlantic Ocean (31° N to 38° S). [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: N. Keul et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-11708-w

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What Scientists Are Learning About the Impact of an Acidifying Ocean

"The effects of ocean acidification on marine life have only become widely recognized in the past decade. Now researchers are rapidly expanding the scope of investigations into what falling pH means for ocean ecosystems."

Source: NewsDeeply: Oceans Deeply

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Using fuzzy logic to determine the vulnerability of marine species to climate change


"Marine species are being impacted by climate change and ocean acidification, although their level of vulnerability varies due to differences in species' sensitivity, adaptive capacity and exposure to climate hazards. Due to limited data on the biological and ecological attributes of many marine species, as well as inherent uncertainties in the assessment process, climate change vulnerability assessments in the marine environment frequently focus on a limited number of taxa or geographic ranges. [...]"

Source: Global Change Biology
Authors: Miranda C. Jones, William W. L. Cheung
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13869

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Ocean Acidification More Rapid in Coastal Oceans

"New research under the joint NCCOS Competitive Research Program and NOAA Ocean Acidification Program finds the combined effects of anthropogenic and biological carbon dioxide (CO2) inputs may lead to more rapid acidification in Chesapeake Bay and other coastal water compared to the open ocean. The results indicate that eutrophication can exacerbate ocean acidification (OA) where animal and plant respiration contributes a far greater acidification in the coastal oceans relative to the open ocean. [...]"

Source: The National Centers for Ciastal Ocean Science

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Acid zone in Chesapeake Bay identified

"Zone of water 30 feet below surface is increasing in acidity, threatening shellfish.

A research team, led by University of Delaware professor Wei-Jun Cai, has identified a zone of water that is increasing in acidity in the Chesapeake Bay.

The team analyzed little studied factors that play a role in ocean acidification (OA)--changes in water chemistry that threaten the ability of shellfish such as oysters, clams and scallops to create and maintain their shells, among other impacts."

Source: ErurekAltert!

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Redox reactions and weak buffering capacity lead to acidification in the Chesapeake Bay


"The combined effects of anthropogenic and biological CO2 inputs may lead to more rapid acidification in coastal waters compared to the open ocean. It is less clear, however, how redox reactions would contribute to acidification. Here we report estuarine acidification dynamics based on oxygen, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), pH, dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity data from the Chesapeake Bay, where anthropogenic nutrient inputs have led to eutrophication, hypoxia and anoxia, and low pH. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Wei-Jun Cai
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00417-7

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