Are Oysters Doomed? Don’t believe in climate change? Talk to a clam digger.

The Slate

Unlike other problems caused by CO2, ocean acidification is spurring some action, possibly because the effects are so visibly tied to the cause. “With climate change there’s often a schism between scientists and those who flat out don’t want to believe it,” says Green. “It’s hard to get a man to believe something if his job depends on not believing it.” But in this case, he says, it’s the people in the industry who are leading awareness. “Talk to shellfish clammers—the guys who dig—and every one of them is on board, especially the old timers. They have seen over the years the populations go from incredibly productive to virtually disappearing in many cases.” One bit of anecdotal evidence diggers have reported is clams with thinner shells—so thin, they say, that sometimes it’s not possible to fill bushel baskets to the top because the fragile shells at the bottom will be crushed.

Monday, February 18, 2013
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WA’s First Ocean Acidification Legislation

WA’s First Ocean Acidification Legislation

Slightline Daily

On the heels of Washington State’s pioneering efforts to identify local steps to slow ocean acidification, Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island) has introduced legislation to begin coordinating that response. SB 5547 would create a new council of elected and tribal representatives and affected industries to oversee research and action to curb profoundly troubling changes in ocean chemistry.

The bill would also include acidification as a possible justification for extending urban sewer services to rural areas (normally not allowed under the state’s Growth Management Act), in areas where local pollution from leaky septic systems combines with global carbon dioxide emissions to make the problem worse.

Wednesday, February 6, 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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Scallops, too, are victims of greenhouse gas emissions

Vancouver Sun

We've all heard about global warming, and we know the primary cause is our profligate release to the atmosphere of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the burning of fossil fuels. That warming continues to bite us: Last year was the warmest ever across the continental United States since records have been kept, and the fifth warmest in Canada. 

But there is a hidden side to ongoing CO2 emissions and it's now biting us, too. Roughly one-third of the CO2 emitted since the Industrial Revolution has dissolved into the sea and is slowly turning our oceans acidic.

Saturday, January 19, 2013
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Window on Future Ocean Change

First long-term experiment with GEOMAR mesocosms off Sweden investigates effects of ocean acidification on plankton communities

In the past decade, research has revealed a wide range of organism responses to ocean acidification – the decline of seawater pH due to an uptake of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) by the ocean. Laboratory and field experiments have focused primarily on individual species. Their responses to ocean acidification have mostly been studied in short-term experiments. 

But how do complex biological communities react to ocean acidification? Are they able to adapt to new conditions when exposed over long periods? To address these questions, long-lasting experiments on natural communities are urgently needed. "With the modified seagoing experimental platform, KOSMOS, we are now able to conduct the first long-term mesocosm experiment in the natural environment", Ulf Riebesell points out. Riebesell is professor for biological oceanography at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. He coordinates the BIOACID project and the upcoming mesocosm experiments.

Friday, January 18, 2013
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