Study shows oyster reefs buffer acidification of Chesapeake Bay

Study shows oyster reefs buffer acidification of Chesapeake Bay

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

A new study co-authored by Prof. Roger Mann of 's Virginia Institute of Marine Science adds a new item to the list of oyster reef benefits — the ability to buffer increasing acidity of ocean waters.

Concerns about increasing acidity in Chesapeake Bay and the global ocean stem from human inputs of carbon dioxide to seawater, either through burning of fossil fuels or runoff of excess nutrients from land. The latter over-fertilizes marine plants and ultimately leads to increased respiration by plankton-filtering oysters and bacteria. In either case, adding carbon dioxide to water produces carbonic acid, a process that has increased ocean acidity by more than 30 percent since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
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Can Acid Neutralizers Help Coral Reefs Bounce Back?

NPR

Coral reefs are in trouble worldwide, from a host of threats, including warming ocean temperatures, nutrient runoff and increasing ocean acidity. A noted climate scientist from California has been conducting an experiment on Australia's Great Barrier Reef to see whether antacid could boost coral growth.

Thursday, April 18, 2013
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Increased Carbon Dioxide Levels Damage Coral Reefs

NPR

Scientists have been worried about coral reefs for years, since realizing that rising temperatures and rising ocean acidity are hard on organisms that build their skeletons from calcium carbonate. Researchers on Australia's Great Barrier Reef are conducting an experiment that demonstrates just how much corals could suffer in the coming decades.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
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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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