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.

Related Articles


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 November 26, 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 November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — Hundreds of Amazon River turtles released into the wild in Peru. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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