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Ocean Acidification

This tag is associated with 25 posts
Figure 1: A venomous cone snail that lives in tropical reef systems. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Ocean acidification makes predators dumb

Chemistry is important for a lot of things, but can it change the behavior of animals? Read on to find out how changes in water chemistry alter the behavior of a venomous cone snail!

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What Does the US Election Mean for Our Oceans?

The oceans are subject to the whims of national policy, and yet they know no borders. Being poor ocean stewards here in the US could cause serious problems all over the world, as well as affecting the smidgeon of blue we can see from our shores. In this post, I outline a few ideas about how America’s new political landscape might affect ocean science and the future health of our global oceans .

Figure 1 – Trematode parasites in an unshelled California horn snail.  The normal horn snail (top) has orange tissue that produces sperm.  The infected horn snail (bottom) has none of that orange tissue and is instead used as a resource for the trematode parasite.  Source: https://www.sciencenews.org/sites/default/files/8417

Can being sick be a good thing for surviving ocean acidification?

Scientists (myself included!) have been doing a lot of work on how marine animals respond to rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, but CO2 alone isn’t the only problem. This study looks at how having a parasite affects survival in marine snails exposed to high CO2 – do they survive longer in those conditions with or without a bunch of parasites? Read on for a surprising answer!

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Ocean Acidification Disrupts Yellowfin Tuna Development

We’ve heard a lot about ocean acidification and how it negatively impacts calcified organisms like corals or shellfish. But did you know that acidification also has wide-ranging impacts on other marine species? Researchers recently found lethal and sublethal effects of acidification on yellowfin tuna.

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Larval Donkey’s ear abalone threatened by climate change

Abalone are an economically and culturally important group of edible sea snails, and a new study demonstrates that they’re at serious risk of decline due to ocean acidification.

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Disoriented fish are getting lost at sea!

Young fish rely on sound cues to navigate the vast ocean, but as our oceans acidify, the journey home to safely settle becomes much more difficult. Disoriented and slow, these fish are getting lost at sea

Figure 2 – Nomura’s jellyfish blooming in Japan and clogging fishing nets.

Are marine “nuisance” species expected to increase under ocean acidification?

Most studies that look at how animals respond to climate change look at species we like – oysters, corals, and whales are just a few examples. The authors of this review looked at something else – how are the species we hate going to respond to climate change, specifically ocean acidification? Read on to find out!

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Rapid changes in the Southern Ocean threaten ecosystems

Rapid acidification of the Southern Ocean could occur in the next 30 years with potentially huge impacts to local ecosystems.

http://www.sportdiver.com/article/news/global-reef-expeditions-assess-coral-reef-health

How a whole reef community’s response to OA is impacted by the individual responses of different players

Researchers from California used a unique ex situ experiment to monitor two near identical reef communities in different concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide to observe the unique responses of community members and their roles in the whole community response.

Early stage lobster. Photo credit: Macroscopic

Tiny lobsters, big problems.

Larval lobsters face potentially dangerous situations, find out how they fare against a couple important environmental stressors (salinity and pH changes).

Red Rock Shrimp (Lysmata Californica).  Credit: D.D.Deheyn and M.C.Allen.

Ocean acidification may make “peekaboo” harder for shrimp

What happens to a shrimp’s shell when exposed to more acidic conditions? Read more to find out!

Figure 1 - Giant Clam

Giant Clams Catch a Giant Break

Most of today’s research into the effects of climate change and ocean acidification is all doom and gloom: this animal and that ecosystem are developmentally challenged as a result of warming temperatures and lowered pH. This new study out of Australia is a rare bit of good news in the field, finding that giant clams (important economically for food and tourism) might escape the worst effects of ocean acidification thanks to their symbiotic bacteria.

Source: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Path of Corrosion: How Scientists Modeled Ancient Sea-Floor Acidity

Today, we see a rapid release of CO2 to the atmosphere associated with climate change. The same was true 55 million years ago during the PETM, a time when – sediment records show – there was pervasive carbonate dissolution along the sea floor. But it was not the same pattern everywhere. Scientists attempt to model these spatial varieties and explain what occurred.

Figure 1: Centrostephanus rodgersii

Can sperm cells make it in an acidified ocean?

Researchers in Australia investigated whether sea urchin sperm are going to make it through an acidified ocean or if they’ve reached their tipping point. Read on to learn more!

Figure 1: Changes in seawater chemistry from the 1800s to 2100 (projected) and impacts on marine calcifiers (organisms that deposit calcium salts in their body tissues) © Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.

Like father, like son? Is survival under ocean acidification heritable?

Can marine life adapt to ocean acidification? Well, first we need to understand if these favourable characteristics (survival under elevated CO2 conditions) are genetically determined and can be passed on to the offspring!

Florida Museum of Natural History  (flmnh.ufl.edu)

Catfish sharks on catnip? Nope, just ocean acidification

Researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that ocean acidification may cause hyperactivity in catfish sharks.

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Deep Blue Reads: The Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert

As a novelist writing about oceanography, I spend a decent amount of time parsing scientific studies. Over the past several years my vocabulary has expanded to include terms like band saturation, turbidity currents, and foraminifera—phrases and words that had not existed in my wildest dreams when I first started writing. I’ve relied on studies and […]

Mahi Mahi Dolphin Fish Dorado Bull Jumping

Too much acid in the mahi: Ocean acidification and larval dolphinfish

How will increased atmospheric carbon dioxide affect your dinner? Larval dolphinfish (or, ‘mahi mahi’) are apparently very sensitive to increased ocean acidification, a product of rising atmospheric CO2. This is one of the first studies of the effects of ocean acidification on the early life stage of a pelagic fish species.

Sea Catfish with a Seventh Sense

The Seventh Sense: Catfish Sense pH Changes

Some catfish aren’t just limited to the traditional five senses – instead, they have a unique adaptation to sense pH changes in the water to help them find their prey.

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Fight of the Century: CO2 vs. Calcifying Phytoplankton

From the very first sentence of the abstract, these scientists make clear they are not messing around, “Ocean acidification is a result of the uptake of anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere into the ocean and has been identified as a major environmental and economic threat.” In other words, humans are causing ocean acidification and the consequences will hit everything from the blue of the sea to the green in our wallets. So how is the most abundant species of calcifying phytoplankton being affected?

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