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Alaska Ocean Acidification Network Nears Completion

Alaska Ocean Acidification Network Nears Completion

Scientists at Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) and the Ocean Acidification Center at University of Alaska Fairbanks maintain four buoys in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea that comprise a network to monitor ocean chemistry in sub-arctic waters.  These high latitude waters are of much interest and concern because cold waters more readily absorb CO2, which causes a decrease pH and saturation state.  Additionally, the  predicted reduction of sea ice in this region can increase the uptake of CO2 due to 1) increased freshwater input from melt-water and rivers 2) more seawater being exposed to the atmosphere to absorb COand 3) alteration of the production and decomposition of organic carbon due to increased surface area of ocean water.  

Friday, April 12, 2013
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Scientists Seek Sea Urchin's Secret to Surviving Ocean Acidification

Scientists Seek Sea Urchin's Secret to Surviving Ocean Acidification

Science Daily

Stanford scientists have discovered that some purple sea urchins living along the coast of California and Oregon have the surprising ability to rapidly evolve in acidic ocean water -- a capacity that may come in handy as climate change increases ocean acidity. This capacity depends on high levels of genetic variation that allow urchins' healthy growth in water with high carbon dioxide levels.

The study, co-authored by Stephen Palumbi, a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and director of Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, revealspreviously unknown adaptive variations that could help some marine species survive in future acidified seas.

Monday, April 8, 2013
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Crabs, supersized by carbon pollution, may upset Chesapeake’s balance

Crabs, supersized by carbon pollution, may upset Chesapeake’s balance

The Washington Post

It is the dawn of the super crab.

Crabs are bulking up on carbon pollution that pours out of power plants, factories and vehicles and settles in the oceans, turning the tough crustaceans into even more fearsome predators.

That presents a major problem for the Chesapeake Bay, where crabs eat oysters. In a life-isn’t-fair twist, the same carbon that crabs absorb to grow bigger stymies the development of oysters.

“Higher levels of carbon in the ocean are causing oysters to grow slower, and their predators — such as blue crabs — to grow faster,” Justin Baker Ries, a marine geologist at the University of North Carolina’s Aquarium Research Center, said in an recent interview.

 

Sunday, April 7, 2013
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Putting Larval Cobia to the Acid Test: Potential Resistance to Increasingly Acidic Oceans by Certain Species of Fish

Putting Larval Cobia to the Acid Test: Potential Resistance to Increasingly Acidic Oceans by Certain Species of Fish

Science Daily

Ocean acidification, which occurs as CO2 is absorbed by the world's oceans, is a source of concern for marine scientists worldwide. Studies on coral, mollusks, and other ocean denizens are helping to paint a picture of what the future might entail for specific species, should carbon emissions continue to increase.

In a new study published in Global Change Biology, University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science researchers Sean Bignami, Su Sponaugle, and Robert Cowen are the first to study the effects of acidification on the larvae of cobia (Rachycentron canandum). Cobia are large tropical fish that spawn in pelagic waters, highly mobile as they mature, and a popular species among recreational anglers.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
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Special report: USA TODAY will explore how climate change is affecting Americans in a series of stories this year.

Special report: USA TODAY will explore how climate change is affecting Americans in a series of stories this year.

USA Today

OYSTER BAY, Wash. -- The tide rolls out on a chilly March evening, and the oystermen roll in, steel rakes in hand, hip boots crunching on the gravel beneath a starry, velvet sky.

As they prepare to harvest some of the sweetest shellfish on the planet, a danger lurks beyond the shore that will eventually threaten clams, mussels, everything with a shell or that eats something with a shell. The entire food chain could be affected. That means fish, fishermen and, perhaps, you.

"Ocean acidification," the shifting of the ocean's water toward the acidic side of its chemical balance, has been driven by climate change and has brought increasingly corrosive seawater to the surface along the West Coast and the inlets of Puget Sound, a center of the $111 million shellfish industry in the Pacific Northwest.

Thursday, March 28, 2013
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