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Waters Vast and Cold: NOAA and Partners Sail to the Gulf of Alaska to Study Ocean Acidification

Waters Vast and Cold: NOAA and Partners Sail to the Gulf of Alaska to Study Ocean Acidification

NOAA Ocean Acidification Program

The waters of Alaska are vast, cold and vulnerable to the effects of ocean acidification. Although these effects have been characterized in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, on Monday July 13 NOAA and partners will depart to survey new waters in the Gulf of Alaska. Researchers from NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) and University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) will set sail on the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown to survey ocean chemistry and its connections to the base of the food web in the Gulf of Alaska. 

“This cruise offers the unique opportunity for data to be collected throughout the Gulf of Alaska,” said Dr. Jessica Cross, chief scientist for this expedition, “This will be the first broad scale, comprehensive survey in this area.”

Monday, July 13, 2015
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The Galápagos Islands: A Glimpse into the Future of Our Oceans

The Galápagos Islands: A Glimpse into the Future of Our Oceans

NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

A study of Galápagos’ coral reefs provides evidence that reefs exposed to lower pH and higher nutrient levels may be the most affected and least resilient to changes in climate and ocean chemistry.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
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Sea Change: Vital part of food web dissolving

Sea Change: Vital part of food web dissolving

The Seattle Times

It didn’t take long for researchers examining the tiny sea snails to see something amiss.

The surface of some of their thin outer shells looked as if they had been etched by a solvent. Others were deeply pitted and pocked.

These translucent sea butterflies known as pteropods, which provide food for salmon, herring and other fish, hadn’t been burned in some horrific lab accident.

They were being eaten away by the Pacific Ocean.

For the first time, scientists have documented that souring seas caused by carbon-dioxide emissions are dissolving pteropods in the wild right now along the U.S. West Coast. That is damaging a potentially important link in the marine food web far sooner than expected.

Monday, May 5, 2014
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NOAA-led researchers discover ocean acidity is dissolving shells of tiny snails off the U.S. West Coast

NOAA-led researchers discover ocean acidity is dissolving shells of tiny snails off the U.S. West Coast

NOAA

A NOAA-led research team has found the first evidence that acidity of continental shelf waters off the West Coast is dissolving the shells of tiny free-swimming marine snails, called pteropods, which provide food for pink salmon, mackerel and herring, according to a new paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Monday, May 5, 2014
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Sea Change: The Pacific's Perilous Turn

Sea Change: The Pacific's Perilous Turn

The Seattle Times

NORMANBY ISLAND, Papua New Guinea — Katharina Fabricius plunged from a dive boat into the Pacific Ocean of tomorrow. 

She kicked through blue water until she spotted a ceramic tile attached to the bottom of a reef. 

A year earlier, the ecologist from the Australian Institute of Marine Science had placed this small square near a fissure in the sea floor where gas bubbles up from the earth. She hoped the next generation of baby corals would settle on it and take root. 

Fabricius yanked a knife from her ankle holster, unscrewed the plate and pulled it close. Even underwater the problem was clear. Tiles from healthy reefs nearby were covered with budding coral colonies in starbursts of red, yellow, pink and blue. This plate was coated with a filthy film of algae and fringed with hairy sprigs of seaweed. 

Instead of a brilliant new coral reef, what sprouted here resembled a slimy lake bottom. 

Isolating the cause was easy. Only one thing separated this spot from the lush tropical reefs a few hundred yards away. 

Carbon dioxide.

Friday, September 13, 2013
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