Posts Tagged ‘ocean acidification’

Acidified Seawater: Does It Always Depress Calcification?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Source:  CCR

Findlay, H.S., Wood, H.L., Kendall, M.A., Spicer, J.I., Twitchett, R.J. and Widdicombe, S. 2011. Comparing the impact of high CO2 on calcium carbonate structures in different marine organisms. Marine Biology Research 7: 565-575.

In introducing their study, Findlay et al. (2011) write that “calcifying marine organisms such as molluscs and foraminifera, crustaceans, echinoderms, corals and coccolithophores are predicted to be most vulnerable to decreasing oceanic pH (ocean acidification).” They also, however, say there is a possibility for “increased or maintained calcification under high carbon dioxide conditions,” and they go on to experimentally demonstrate the reality of this phenomenon in different types of calcifying marine animals. More specifically, working with five different calcifying organisms – two gastropods (the limpet Patella vulgata and the periwinkle Littorina littorea), a bivalve mussel (Mytilus edulis), one crustacean (the cirripede Semibalanus balanoides) and one echinoderm (the brittlestar Amphiura filiformis) – Findlay et al. say they “measured either the calcium (Ca2+) concentration in the calcified structures or shell morphological parameters as a proxy for a net change in calcium carbonate in live individuals exposed to lowered pH,” where the lower pH of the seawater employed was created by the bubbling of CO2into header tanks. So what did they find? (more…)

What is the Best Frame of Reference for Evaluating the Biological Consequences of Ocean Acidification?

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Source:  CCR

Stumpp, M., Wren, J., Melzner, F., Thorndyke, M.C. and Dupont, S.T. 2011a. CO2 induced seawater acidification impacts sea urchin larval development I: Elevated metabolic rates decrease scope for growth and induce developmental delay. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A 160: 331-340.

Stumpp et al. (2011a) evaluated the impacts of elevated seawater pCO2 (1264 ppm vs. 375 ppm) on the early development of, and the larval metabolic and feeding rates of, a model marine organism: Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, commonly known as the purple sea urchin. This was done via a protocol where growth and development were assessed daily, for a period of three weeks, in terms of total body length, body rod length, postoral rod length and posterolateral rod length, as well as mortality and feeding and metabolic rates. So what did their research show? (more…)

The Impact of Ocean Acidification and Warming on a Calcifying Predator-Prey Relationship

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Source:  CCR

Landes, A. and Zimmer, M. 2012. Acidification and warming affect both a calcifying predator and prey, but not their interaction. Marine Ecology Progress Series 450: 1-10.

According to Landes and Zimmer (2012), “both ocean warming and acidification have been demonstrated to affect the growth, performance and reproductive success of calcifying invertebrates.” However, they say that “relatively little is known regarding how such environmental change may affect interspecific interactions.” (more…)

Another Ocean “Acidification” Scare

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Source: NIPCC

Schram, J.B., McClintock, J.B., Angus, R.A and Lawrence, J.M. 2011. Regenerative capacity and biochemical composition of the sea star Luidia clathrata (Say) (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) under conditions of near-future ocean acidification. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 407: 266-274

According to Schram et al. (2011), “echinoderms produce their skeletal components from magnesium-rich calcite, a form of calcite that is even more vulnerable to ocean acidification than aragonite (Andersson et al., 2008; Gayathri et al., 2007),” and, therefore, they say that “an understanding of the prospective impacts of ocean acidification on internal skeletal structures of echinoderms is important, as the presence of an internal skeletal structure is unique in comparison to the majority of invertebrates studied to date in ocean acidification research.” The four researchers thus proceded to conduct their own experiment to add to that knowledge. (more…)

Taking Fears of Acid Oceans With a Grain of Salt

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Source:  WSJ

[SPPI Note:  More in-depth papers on this issue can be found at the SPPI website:

C02 Science’s Ocean Acidification Database

Quantifying the Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Organisms

Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Ecosystems

Answers to a Fisherman’s Testimony about Ocean Acidification

EPA’s Role in Protecting Ocean Health Should Focus on the “Here-and-Now” Threats

See also CO2 Science website for reviewed papers on the topic 

“Once again, therefore, we have another situation where the doom-and-gloom prognostications of the world’s climate alarmists have been made without regard to the full spectrum of important phenomena that come to bear upon the issue in question, and where the conclusions they reach are found to be far more uncertain and much less extreme than what they portray them to be. Thus, it can be appreciated that the climate-alarmist horror stories of impending extinctions of earth’s marine calcifying organisms due to a CO2-induced decrease in seawater pH are merely that:stories, without any basis in fact.”


WSJ text beings here:

Coral reefs around the world are suffering badly from overfishing and various forms of pollution. Yet many experts argue that the greatest threat to them is the acidification of the oceans from the dissolving of man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

The effect of acidification, according to J.E.N. Veron, an Australian coral scientist, will be “nothing less than catastrophic…. What were once thriving coral gardens that supported the greatest biodiversity of the marine realm will become red-black bacterial slime, and they will stay that way.” (more…)

A Deep Sea Mystery

Friday, July 1st, 2011

by Ben Pile

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

World’s oceans in ‘shocking’ decline

Warns Richard Black at the BBC.

The oceans are in a worse state than previously suspected, according to an expert panel of scientists.

In a new report, they warn that ocean life is “at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history”.

They conclude that issues such as over-fishing, pollution and climate change are acting together in ways that have not previously been recognised.

The impacts, they say, are already affecting humanity.

The panel was convened by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), and brought together experts from different disciplines, including coral reef ecologists, toxicologists, and fisheries scientists.

Call me a cynic, but I no longer take claims about ‘expert panel of scientists’ at face value. Sadly, Richard Black of the BBC does. (more…)

The Left Opening a Third Front on Fossil Energy

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Source:  Numbers of the Month

Numbers watch

by John Brignell

The way to bring down a modern state is to attack its energy, manufacturing and transport systems, hence the dam busters and the bombing of German railways and factories during the Second World War. Nowadays, however, developed nations are under attack from the Enemy Within, the neo-Marxist Greenies. Greenpeace, which in its inchoate form was a fairly straight environmental campaigning group, was soon taken over by political extremists and after its conversion to an apocalyptic vision lost original members such as Patrick Moore; but over time this has also happened to other mainstream parties. The UK is the world basket case in this respect (witness the passing without comment of the destructive carbon tax, which is being strongly resisted in other western countries) and almost the entire British political class have become true believers. Nevertheless, countries far apart in both distance and character, such as Australia and Germany , are manoeuvred relentlessly by their green parliamentary minorities in the direction of economic suicide. (more…)

Carbon Dioxide and Earth’s Future: Pursuing the Prudent Path

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Source:  CO2 Science

by Craig and Sherwood Idso

Special Issue
This week we announce the release of our newest major report, Carbon Dioxide and Earth’s Future: Pursuing the Prudent Path. Based on the voluminous periodic reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the ongoing rise in the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration has come to be viewed as a monumental danger — not only to human society, but to the world of nature as well. But are the horrific “doomsday scenarios” promulgated by the climate alarmists as set-in-stone as the public is led to believe? Do we really know all of the complex and interacting processes that should be included in the models upon which these scenarios are based? And can we properly reduce those processes into manageable computer code so as to produce reliable forecasts 50 or 100 years into the future? At present, the only way to properly answer these questions is to compare climate model projections with real-world observations. Theory is one thing, but empirical reality is quite another. The former may or may not be correct, but the latter is always right. As such, the only truly objective method to evaluate climate model projections is by comparing them with real-world data. (more…)

“Ocean Acidification” — More Rent-seeking

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Source:  Wattsup

NGO pleads for $15 billion “ocean acidification” monitoring system

by Anthony Watts

Via Eurekalert, from the NGO Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO), a press release that says, “panic! please send money”. Here’s the punch line:

The Foundation says the average level of pH at the ocean surface has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 units, “rendering the oceans more acidic than they have been for 20 million years,”

Note that any pH lower than 7.0 is considered “acidic”. Distilled (pure) water has a pH of 7.0. Right now the ocean with a pH of 8.1 is considered “basic”. (more…)

Ocean Acidification Database

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010


Results and Conclusions
In what follows, we present several graphics that help one better discern the major message and sub-messages of the data contained in our Ocean Acidification Database. These figures will be updated periodically, as the number of records in the database grows and as time permits us to redo the various analyses upon which the figures are based.

We begin by plotting in Figure 1 the percent changes in all five of the major life characteristics included in this study (calcification, metabolism, growth, fertility and survival) as functions of experimentally-orchestrated declines in seawater pH from the presently prevailing value, where each entry in our Ocean Acidification Database is represented by its own individual data point. (more…)

Ocean Acidification Research

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Source:  CO2 Science

Subject Index Summary
Ocean Acidification (Effects on Marine Animals: Shellfish): Will the shells of shellfish dissolve away in a high-CO2 world of the future?

Journal Reviews
Some Facts About Corals and Calcification: … and how they may be impacted by the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 concentration.

Laputans in Retreat

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Source:  Quadrant

by Ray Evans

Climate: The Counter Consensus by Robert M. Carter
(Stacey International, 2010)

Bob Carter is a member of a small group of Australian scientists (although he was born in the UK and mostly educated in New Zealand) who, having attained a distinguished position in their disciplines (he is a paleo-climatologist), were willing to put their reputations on the line by speaking out against the most extraordinary fraud in the history of Western science: the fantasy that by controlling anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, mankind can control global temperatures; a miraculous global thermostat.

This fantasy is so bizarre that Jonathan Swift could, using statements from today’s Royal Society without embellishment, write them into his account of the kingdom of Laputa. The citizens of Laputa lived on a cloud and threw rocks at rebellious surface cities beneath them. Using Laputa as a satire on the Royal Society, Swift portrayed the ruin brought about by the attempts by the scientists living in the clouds to impose their will on the helpless people living below them.

Bob Carter’s book is a well written account of the deep corruption of our scientific inheritance which has been central to the spread of this fantasy. It is a fantasy which has spread throughout the intellectual, political and religious elites of the English-speaking world, and which has infected key Australian institutions, notably the CSIRO, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and virtually all our universities. (more…)

Ocean Acidification (Effects on Marine Plants: Phytoplankton, Foraminifera) — Summary

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Source:  CO2 Science

Foraminifera are amoeboid protists with reticulating pseudopods, i.e., fine strands of cytoplasm that subdivide into branches that merge to form a dynamic network. They are typically less than one mm in size (but can be much larger), and they produce an elaborate calcium carbonate shell called a test, which may have one or more chambers. As for their impact on the undersea marine environment, these widespread calcifying protozoa, acording to Schiebel (2002), are responsible for 32-80% of the global deep-ocean flux of calcite. Therefore, it is important to determine the degree to which various forams — as they are often called — may or may not be harmed by likely future increases in what has come to be known as ocean acidification. (more…)

Ocean Acidification (Effects on Marine Plants: Phytoplankton — Coccolithophores) — Summary

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Source: CO2 Science

Coccolithophores are single-celled algae and protists that contain chlorophyll, conduct photosynthesis, and possess special plates or scales known as coccoliths that they produce by the process of calcification. They are found in large numbers throughout the surface euphotic zones of the world’s oceans; and we here review the results of several studies that indicate how they may fare in a CO2-enriched world of the future that is characterized by significantly altered oceanic carbonate chemistry.

Working with two previously untested coccolithophores, Calcidiscus leptoporus and Coccolithus pelagicus, which they describe as “two of the most productive marine calcifying species,” Langer et al. (2006) conducted batch-culture experiments in which they observed (1) a “deterioration of coccolith production above as well as below present-day CO2 concentrations in C. leptoporus [italics added],” and (2) a “lack of a CO2 sensitivity of calcification in C. pelagicus” over an atmospheric CO2 concentration range of 98-915 ppm, both of which observations, in their words, “refute the notion of a linear relationship of calcification with the carbonate ion concentration and carbonate saturation state.” (more…)

CO2 Science Weekly posting – June 9, 2010

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Source:  CO2 Science

Fighting Climate Change is “for the Birds”: Read on for further explanation.

Subject Index Summary
Roman Warm Period (North America): It is manifest in proxy evidences of warmer temperatures and altered hydrologic activity throughout the continent.

Journal Reviews
Effects of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment on Cuttlefish Eggs and Embryo Development: What are the effects? … and why are they significant?

A 35-Year History of Caribbean Coral Reefs: How has their percent coral cover varied over the past four decades? (more…)