Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Link Found Between Ocean's Chemical Processes And Microscopic Floating Plants

Date:
March 12, 2007
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
Scientists have discovered that increased levels of ocean acidity and carbon dioxide concentrations have resulted in unexpected changes in oceanic chemical processes. Their research results are published in the March 7, 2007, issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Scientists Max Zeigler and Karl Haase conduct experiments on ocean chemistry.
Credit: New Mexico Tech

Scientists have discovered that increased levels of ocean acidity and carbon dioxide concentrations have resulted in unexpected changes in oceanic chemical processes. Their research results are published in the March 7, 2007, issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Oliver Wingenter of New Mexico Tech and his colleagues conducted a month-long field experiment. The researchers simulated present-day carbon dioxide concentrations and ocean acidity, and carbon dioxide levels expected at the end of this century and the middle of the next one. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), New Mexico Tech and the Comer Foundation, sheds light on how chemical processes that occur throughout the world's oceans help regulate Earth's climate.

Other recent scientific studies have shown that ocean acidity is rising 100 times faster than ever before, Wingenter said, but this study links the effect of increasing ocean acidity to changes in phytoplankton, which themselves produce "greenhouse gases."

"Pronounced changes in some phytoplankton have been observed during previous experiments," said Wingenter. "The consequences for marine organisms, their ecosystems and climate-relevant gases are unknown."

During the study, concentrations of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and chloroiodomethane, produced by phytoplankton in ocean water, were measured.

"In the atmosphere, DMS is rapidly oxidized to sulfur dioxide, which can form sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere," said Wingenter. These aerosols can act as nuclei for cloud formation. Increased cloudiness could block sunlight, thereby cooling Earth. "Therefore, additional DMS production in a higher carbon dioxide environment may help contribute to self-regulation of Earth's climate."

"The bottom line is that carbon dioxide-loading of the atmosphere could lead to environmental changes we have not even begun to think about, effects beyond acidification of surface seawater and greenhouse warming," said Donald Rice, director of NSF's Chemical Oceanography Program.

Combining future experimental and modeling efforts will lead to a better understanding of the feedback systems between the atmosphere and ocean, believes Wingenter. "To predict future climate more accurately, it's critical that we understand the outcome of increasing ocean acidification and increasing carbon dioxide levels."

Wingenter's co-authors include former New Mexico Tech undergraduates Karl Haase and Max Ziegler, and scientists from the University of Bergen, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Kiel in Germany, and University of California at Irvine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Link Found Between Ocean's Chemical Processes And Microscopic Floating Plants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307152508.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2007, March 12). Link Found Between Ocean's Chemical Processes And Microscopic Floating Plants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307152508.htm
National Science Foundation. "Link Found Between Ocean's Chemical Processes And Microscopic Floating Plants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307152508.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) A rare whale fossil has been pulled from a Southern California backyard. The 16- to 17-million-year-old baleen whale fossil is one of about 20 baleen whale fossils known to exist. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) Greenpeace's ship Arctic Sunrise, held in custody by the Russian authorities since September last year, has departed the Russian city of Murmansk en route for its home port of Amsterdam. Duration: 01:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins