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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Pacific Northwest paying high price for carbon emissions

The Grist

It is ironic that despite relatively progressive clean energy policies the West Coast is paying an unusually high price for global carbon emissions. Ocean water off the Pacific coast has absorbed so much carbon that it is becoming acidic enough to melt the shells of sea creatures. Our national and global addiction to fossil fuel and unwillingness to seriously reduce carbon emissions is taking its toll, right here, in real time, with profound implications for the Pacific Ocean.

Friday, February 1, 2013
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EPA Identifies Ocean Acidity as Climate Change Indicator

EPA Identifies Ocean Acidity as Climate Change Indicator

The ocean plays an important role in regulating the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide rise (see the Atmospheric Concentrations of Greenhouse Gases indicator on p. 16), the ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide. Because of the slow mixing time between surface waters and deeper waters, it can take hundreds to thousands of years to establish this balance. Over the past 250 years, oceans have absorbed approximately 40 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by human activities.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
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The Limits of Water Quality Criteria

The Limits of Water Quality Criteria

A rising tide of acidity is overwhelming the global ocean. Estuaries and near-shore waters fall under the jurisdiction of states and the federal government, mandating treatment under the Clean Water Act, but criteria for action are uncertain and unclear. BY: RYAN KELLY & MEG CALDWELL, The Environmental Forum

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the global ocean has absorbed a third of the carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, transforming it into carbonic acid. The acidity of the marine environment has increased by roughly a third since 1750, changing chemical processes vital to life, including shell and coral formation and the growth of bony structures in fish. This massive change in ocean chemistry is a growing water quality problem that focuses attention on the surprisingly difficult business of determining whether and how a particular water quality standard has been violated. Such attention brings with it a larger question of whether water quality criteria are legally sufficient under the CWA if they are difficult or impossible to test as a practical matter, and highlights the changing role of the act as it is used to combat a new class of water pollution.

Monday, December 10, 2012
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The Impact- Environmental and financial impacts of ocean acidification on the shellfish industry

a video, TVW

Host Anita Kissee visits a shellfish farm to see the environmental and financial impacts of ocean acidification on the industry. Plus, an update on the whooping cough epidemic.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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