Member Highlight: New Study Shows Florida Keys’ Coral Are Growing But Have Become More Porous

2018-09-24T11:44:41+00:00 September 24, 2018|

(Credit: JP Rippe) Research suggests that higher-latitude reefs may have more time to adapt to rising ocean temperatures than their tropical counterparts. (From UNC-Chapel Hill/ By ) -- Researchers have long questioned what impact climate change has on the rate at which corals are growing and building reef habitats in the Florida [...]

Member Highlight: Can Seagrass Help Fight Ocean Acidification?

2018-08-06T12:31:34+00:00 August 6, 2018|

Seagrass meadows could play a limited, localized role in alleviating ocean acidification in coastal ecosystems, according to new work led by Carnegie's David Koweek and including Carnegie's Ken Caldeira and published in Ecological Applications. (From EurekAlert) -- When coal, oil, or gas is burned, the resulting carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere where it is [...]

June’s Congressional Wrap Up

2018-07-16T17:03:56+00:00 July 16, 2018|

From: Ocean News Weekly/ By: Ocean Leadership Staff  What Passed Many appropriations bills moved last month, including the Senate’s Commerce-Justice-Science bill, which was approved by both the committee and subcommittee. So far, the full appropriations committees have approved all 12 bills in the Senate and 10 in the House. A minibus that includes the [...]

Scientists Pinpoint How Ocean Acidification Weakens Coral Skeletons

2018-02-01T15:05:53+00:00 February 1, 2018|

(Credit: Hannah Barkley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) The rising acidity of the oceans threatens coral reefs by making it harder for corals to build their skeletons. A new study identifies the details of how ocean acidification affects coral skeletons, allowing scientists to predict more precisely where corals will be more vulnerable. (From [...]

Sea Butterflies Repair Shell Damage From Ocean Acidification

2018-01-31T15:26:52+00:00 January 30, 2018|

(Credit: British Antarctic Survey) A new study of tiny marine snails called sea butterflies shows the great lengths these animals go to repair damage caused by ocean acidification. The paper, led by researchers at British Antarctic Survey, is published this month in the journal Nature Communications. (From --The ocean absorbs around one [...]

Melting Ice Could Mess Up Deep-Sea Chemistry

2017-12-04T17:37:38+00:00 November 30, 2017|

Melting glaciers might be making ocean water more acidic, an unexpected finding that's given scientists new cause for concern. A new study published yesterday in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests surprising ways that climate change is drastically altering the water chemistry in deep seas—a process that may happen faster than researchers anticipated.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Receives Fertility Treatment

2017-11-27T14:10:15+00:00 November 27, 2017|

Australian scientists are optimistic that a fertility treatment for coral could help regenerate the Great Barrier Reef. The 2,300 kilometer long coral reef -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site -- has been extensively damaged by a process known as coral bleaching in which warm water stresses the organism and causes it to die.

Member Highlight: Chukchi Mooring Returns A Year Of pH Data

2017-11-06T15:52:06+00:00 November 6, 2017|

(Click to enlarge). The Chukchi Ecosystem Observatory is maintained by a multi-institutional, multi-investigator partnership that includes the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Alaska Ocean Observing System, the North Pacific Research Board, Olgoonik-Fairweather, Université Laval, and the University of Washington. On a recent research mission, University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists brought home the first [...]

What Scientists Are Learning About The Impact Of An Acidifying Ocean

2017-10-03T16:43:44+00:00 October 3, 2017|

The effects of ocean acidification on marine life have only become widely recognized in the past decade. Now researchers are rapidly expanding the scope of investigations into what falling pH means for ocean ecosystems. The ocean is becoming increasingly acidic as climate change accelerates and scientists are ramping up investigations into the impact on marine life and ecosystems. In just a few years, the young field of ocean acidification research has expanded rapidly – progressing from short-term experiments on single species to complex, long-term studies that encompass interactions across interdependent species.

Key To Speeding Up Carbon Sequestration Discovered

2017-07-20T10:56:03+00:00 July 20, 2017|

Scientists at Caltech and USC have discovered a way to speed up the slow part of the chemical reaction that ultimately helps Earth to safely lock away, or sequester, carbon dioxide into the ocean. Simply adding a common enzyme to the mix, the researchers have found, can make that rate-limiting part of the process go 500 times faster. A paper about the work appears online the week of July 17 ahead of publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

‘Weedy’ Fish Species To Take Over Our Future Oceans

2017-07-07T10:40:11+00:00 July 7, 2017|

University of Adelaide researchers have for the first time demonstrated that the ocean acidification expected in the future will reduce fish diversity significantly, with small 'weedy' species dominating marine environments. Published today in Current Biology, the researchers studied species interactions in natural marine environments at underwater volcanic vents, where concentrations of CO2 match those predicted for oceans at the end of the century. They were compared with adjacent marine environments with current CO2 levels.

In Coral Skeletons, Microscopic Portraits of Resilience?

2017-06-06T09:25:50+00:00 June 6, 2017|

Coral reefs are sprawling, intricate ecosystems that house an estimated 25 percent of all marine life and can sometimes be seen from space. Yet they are formed by a process invisible to us. A study published in Science on Wednesday now presents a microscopic picture of the biology that makes corals’ skeletons grow. The findings suggest that coral may be more robust in the face of human-driven ocean acidification than commonly thought. Corals grow their armor by diligently secreting a chunk of hard skeleton smaller than the width of a human hair each day. This process is called calcification and scientists have debated which parts of it are most important for decades.

Acidified Ocean Water Widespread Along North American West Coast

2017-06-02T16:55:44+00:00 June 2, 2017|

A three-year survey of the California Current System along the West Coast of the United States found persistent, highly acidified water throughout this ecologically critical nearshore habitat, with "hotspots" of pH measurements as low as any oceanic surface waters in the world. The researchers say that conditions will continue to worsen because the atmospheric carbon dioxide primarily to blame for this increase in acidification has been rising substantially in recent years.

New Congress Means New Legislation

2017-02-27T15:22:52+00:00 February 27, 2017|

(Click to enlarge) A number of new bills introduced in this Congress were of relevance to the ocean science community. One relates to ocean acification research.(Credit: NOAA) In a scene more appropriate for a college laboratory than the Capitol building (lab safety protocols aside), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) measured pH on the Senate [...]

In The Next Few Decades, Fish In Huge Swaths Of The Ocean Could Be Struggling To Breathe

2017-01-18T16:51:10+00:00 January 18, 2017|

One of the most talked-about consequences of climate change is ocean acidification, which particularly threatens creatures that build shells. But there's another big problem in the ocean's chemistry that's beginning to get out of control: oxygen. Even though they live underwater, fish breathe oxygen just like we do. Their gills pull dissolved oxygen out of the water. But the warmer the ocean's water gets, the less dissolved oxygen it can hold. It's basically the underwater equivalent of a human panting in the thin air on a mountaintop.

Future Of Coral Reefs Under Climate Change Predicted

2017-01-11T12:48:44+00:00 January 11, 2017|

New climate model projections of the world's coral reefs reveal which reefs will be hit first by annual coral bleaching, an event that poses the gravest threat to one of the Earth's most important ecosystems. These high-resolution projections, based on global climate models, predict when and where annual coral bleaching will occur. The projections show that reefs in Taiwan and around the Turks and Caicos archipelago will be among the world's first to experience annual bleaching. Other reefs, like those off the coast of Bahrain, in Chile and in French Polynesia, will be hit decades later, according to research recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.

How Rising Ocean Acidity Could Send Us Into A Downward Spiral

2016-12-16T08:41:49+00:00 December 16, 2016|

(Click to enlarge) A plankton bloom in the Bay of Biscay. (Credit: NASA) Our oceans are getting more acidic, and it’s having big effects on some very small animals—with worrying implications. (From Forbes / by Sam Lemonick)– Ocean acidification, a result of excess carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, can disrupt plankton blooms, according to new [...]

Marine Incentives Programs May Replace ‘Doom And Gloom’ With Hope

2016-12-12T19:04:20+00:00 December 2, 2016|

Incentives that are designed to enable smarter use of the ocean while also protecting marine ecosystems can and do work, and offer significant hope to help address the multiple environmental threats facing the world's oceans, researchers conclude in a new analysis. Whether economic or social, incentive-based solutions may be one of the best options for progress in reducing impacts from overfishing, climate change, ocean acidification and pollution, researchers from Oregon State University and Princeton University say in a new report published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

New Study Shows Ocean Acidification Accelerates Erosion Of Coral Reefs

2016-11-29T11:31:06+00:00 November 29, 2016|

Scientists studying naturally high carbon dioxide coral reefs in Papua New Guinea found that erosion of essential habitat is accelerated in these highly acidified waters, even as coral growth continues to slow. The new research by the University of Miami Rosenstiel School's Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS), NOAA, and the Australian Institute of Marine Science has important implications for coral reefs around the world as the ocean become more acidic as a result of global change.

Ocean Acidification Study Offers Warnings For Marine Life, Habitats

2016-11-23T12:11:44+00:00 November 23, 2016|

Acidification of the world's oceans could drive a cascading loss of biodiversity in some marine habitats, according to research published Monday in Nature Climate Change. The work by biodiversity researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and colleagues in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Japan and China, combines dozens of existing studies to paint a more nuanced picture of the impact of ocean acidification.

Global Warming Could Be Breaking Up This 200 Million Year Old Relationship

2016-11-03T16:54:19+00:00 November 3, 2016|

Last week came the latest grim news about the Great Barrier Reef: In its remote and treasured northern section, coral death appears to be extensive in the wake of an extreme ocean heat event in March, followed by subsequent severe coral bleaching. It’s just the latest evidence that a changing climate is driving a wedge between two organisms that have managed to live together for eons in “one of the most successful modes of life that we know,” explains Kim Cobb, a coral reefs expert and climate scientist at Georgia Tech University.

Proposed Updates To Fish And Wildlife Service Mitigation Policy

2016-09-26T17:15:27+00:00 September 26, 2016|

If you’ve ever spent a quiet afternoon fishing on a lake or kayaking past the greenery of a salt marsh, you’ve likely encountered programs and projects that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) oversees. FWS protects and manages our nation’s numerous fish and wildlife resources and uses conservation practices to give everyone in our nation the opportunity to enjoy those resources. FWS first introduced their Mitigation Policy in 1981, which was comprised of “recommendations on mitigating the adverse impacts of land and water developments on fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats.” The need for revisions to the decades-old policy stems from climate change, new conservation science, and the increasing loss of habitats for many organisms protected by the FWS. The draft policy was available for public comment from March to May 2016, and since then, the agency has been making revisions to their policy. A hearing on September 22 by the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife reviewed the proposed changes.

From Bivalves To Blue Crabs: Acidification Brings Challenges To New Marine Life

2018-02-14T14:29:28+00:00 September 26, 2016|

In school, most students learn to measure acidity or pH with a litmus test. Unfortunately, monitoring the acidity of the ocean is not as simple as dunking a small piece of paper in liquid and waiting for the color to change, and the impacts of acidity changes to marine life are more complex than a simple change in color. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean, which makes it difficult for marine calcifiers (a group comprised of many different organisms, such as molluscs, crustaceans, and corals) to make their own shells and skeletons. Ocean acidification doesn’t just harm these creatures. It threatens our nation’s economic stability, from our $7.3 billion seafood industry to our $101.1 billion recreation and tourism sector. But it doesn’t stop there – it also affects our homeland security.

Study Links Altered Brain Chemistry, Behavioral Impairments In Fish Exposed To Elevated Carbon Dioxide

2016-09-15T10:03:10+00:00 September 15, 2016|

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University showed that increased carbon dioxide concentrations alters brain chemistry that may lead to neurological impairment in some fish.

Increased Ocean Acidification Is Due To Human Activities

2016-09-16T12:04:59+00:00 September 9, 2016|

Oceanographers from MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution report that the northeast Pacific Ocean has absorbed an increasing amount of anthropogenic carbon dioxide over the last decade, at a rate that mirrors the increase of carbon dioxide emissions pumped into the atmosphere.

Looking Back Into The Future: Are Corals Able To Resist A Declining pH?

2016-08-08T16:21:42+00:00 August 10, 2016|

Tropical Porites corals adjust their internal pH to enable themselves to form calcium carbonate and grow under elevated carbon dioxide concentrations -- even for a longer period of time. In order to understand the ability of pH regulation in more detail, researchers have used the boron isotope method to examine samples of corals that have existed at natural carbon dioxide vents in Papua New Guinea for decades.

Increasing Ocean Acidity Could Impact Fish Spawning

2016-08-03T09:28:36+00:00 August 3, 2016|

A new study suggests that the increasing acidification of the oceans is likely to interfere with the ability of fish to reproduce. Researchers found that elevated levels of CO2, which make the waters more acidic, saw significantly lower levels of spawning. However, other mating behaviours of the same species were unaffected by the souring of the oceans.

U.S. IOOS Awards $31m For Ocean Observing

2016-07-11T10:14:35+00:00 July 12, 2016|

The funds are distributed primarily in the form of five-year cooperative agreements, augmented by funds from other federal offices and agencies, as well as outside groups including: NOAA’s Office Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program (OAP), the National Weather Service (NWS), NOAA Fisheries (NMFS), NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey (OCS), NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), and the IOOS Association. Some additional funding is directed through the Ocean Technology Transition (OTT) project at IOOS, which sponsors the transition of emerging technologies to operational mode.

Ocean Acidification Affects Predator-Prey Response

2016-07-07T11:11:27+00:00 July 8, 2016|

Ocean acidification makes it harder for sea snails to escape from their sea star predators, according to a study. The findings suggest that by disturbing predator-prey interactions, ocean acidification could spur cascading consequences for food web systems in shoreline ecosystems.

NASA Takes 23,000-foot View Of The World’s Coral Reefs

2016-06-13T10:41:24+00:00 June 13, 2016|

Coral reefs have almost always been studied up close, by scientists in the water looking at small portions of larger reefs to gather data and knowledge about the larger ecosystems. But NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is taking a step back and getting a wider view, from about 23,000 feet above.

Shellfish Response To Ocean Acidification Depends On Other Stressors

2016-05-10T15:44:34+00:00 May 11, 2016|

A study of California mussels, a key species in the rocky intertidal ecosystems of the West Coast, indicates that the effects of ocean acidification will vary from place to place along the coast depending on a range of interacting factors. Researchers found that the ability of mussels to cope with more acidic conditions depends largely on how much food is available to them, and both factors vary from place to place.

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