Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ocean Acidification in the Arctic: What are the consequences of carbon dioxide increase on marine ecosystems?

Date:
June 4, 2010
Source:
Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR)
Summary:
Carbon dioxide emissions not only lead to global warming, but also cause another, less well-known but equally disconcerting environmental change: ocean acidification. Scientists have just started the first major CO2 perturbation experiment in the Arctic Ocean. Their goal is to determine the response of Arctic marine life to the rapid change in ocean chemistry.

Mesocosms in the Kongsfjord.
Credit: U. Riebesell, IFM-GEOMAR

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions not only lead to global warming, but also cause another, less well-known but equally disconcerting environmental change: ocean acidification. A group of 35 researchers of the EU-funded EPOCA project have just started the first major CO2 perturbation experiment in the Arctic Ocean. Their goal is to determine the response of Arctic marine life to the rapid change in ocean chemistry.

Ocean acidity has increased by 30% since preindustrial times due to the uptake of anthropogenic CO2. It is projected to rise by another 100% before 2100 if CO2 emissions continue at current rates. Polar seas are considered particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification because the high solubility of CO2 in cold waters results in naturally low carbonate saturation states. CO2 induced acidification will easily render these waters sub-saturated, where seawater becomes corrosive for calcareous organisms. By the time atmospheric CO2 exceeds 490 parts per million (2040 to 2050, depending on the scenario considered), more than half of the Arctic Ocean is projected to be corrosive to aragonite. Arctic waters are home to a wide range of calcifying organisms, both in benthic and pelagic habitats, including shell fish, seas urchins, coralline algae, and calcareous plankton. Many of these are key species providing crucial links in the Arctic food web, such as the planktonic pteropods, which serve as food for fishes, seabirds and whales.

To study the impacts of ocean acidification on plankton communities, the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR) has deployed nine mesocosms in the Kongsfjord off the north-western coast of Spitsbergen (Svalbard) supported by the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza. Each of the giant, 17 m long 'test tubes' holds about 50 cubic metres of seawater. The enclosed plankton community is exposed to a range of different CO2 levels as expected to develop between now and the middle of the next century and is closely monitored over a 6-week period. The EPOCA scientists, who are stationed at the Ny Εlesund research station, are sampling the mesocosms daily from zodiacs with plankton nets, water samplers and pumps, and conduct measurements with profiling sensors and in situ probes. The multidisciplinary experiment, which will last until mid July, involves molecular and cell biologists, marine ecologists and biogeochemists, ocean and atmospheric chemists. The scientists expect new results about the sensitivities of Arctic plankton communities to ocean acidification and their impacts on the Arctic food web and biodiversity, the cycling of carbon, nutrients and other elements, the production of climate relevant gases and their exchange with the atmosphere.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR). "Ocean Acidification in the Arctic: What are the consequences of carbon dioxide increase on marine ecosystems?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603092018.htm>.
Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR). (2010, June 4). Ocean Acidification in the Arctic: What are the consequences of carbon dioxide increase on marine ecosystems?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603092018.htm
Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR). "Ocean Acidification in the Arctic: What are the consequences of carbon dioxide increase on marine ecosystems?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603092018.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
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