New Research Indicates Ocean Acidification Kills Coral Reefs and it may affect how sea organisms contribute to Global Warming. (Photo Courtesy Mark Kolbe Getty Images)
Greetings to you! Today I have some good news and bad news that focuses on new research and the Effects of Ocean Acidification. Well – let’s start with the good news…
…According to research published January 27, 2017 in the journal Nature Communications, by scientists at the Royal Dutch Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and the Japanese Agency of Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), ocean acidification “could make shellfish shells even more vigorous.” It is the carbon dioxide [CO2] in the air, a byproduct of fossil fuels, which acidifies our oceans. However, brand new research now suggests that unicellular (having only 1 cell) shellfish can produce more protective shells due to the lower pH and more acidic environment. These extremely small shellfish form from one single cell. And they are found in huge numbers within our oceans.
Now for the bad news…
…The amount of acidity levels within our oceans has increased by approximately 30 percent since 1750. As a result, ocean acidification continues to be a very dangerous condition affecting our oceans and its sea life. Here’s a quote from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)…
“Ocean acidification is an emerging global problem. Over the last decade, there has been much focus in the ocean science community on studying the potential impacts of ocean acidification. Since sustained efforts to monitor ocean acidification worldwide are only beginning, it is currently impossible to predict exactly how ocean acidification impacts will cascade throughout the marine food chain and affect the overall structure of marine ecosystems. With the pace of ocean acidification accelerating, scientists, resource managers, and policymakers recognize the urgent need to strengthen the science as a basis for sound decision-making and action.”
Let me explain what pH is and how it is used to identify ocean acidification. pH is the unit scientists use to measure exactly how much acid is present. (In this case, seawater.) pH readings range from 0 to 14. The lower the pH number, the more acidic the water will be.
New Research Indicates “Adaptive Mechanism” in Sea Organisms Could Speed Up Global Warming!
New NIOZ research indicates via adaptive mechanism, sea organisms might actually speed up global warming! Adaptive mechanism’s definition – adapting quickly to changes in the environment. As ocean acidification increases, the level of carbon dioxide [CO2] also increases at “the expense of carbonate.” The result? “…organisms immediately absorb the higher concentration of carbon dioxide through their cell walls, creating a lower acidity level on the inner side of the wall.” Noted NIOZ researcher, Lennart de Nooijer said, “Such an active biochemical regulation mechanism has never been found before.”
Scientists agree, future research should be carried out to validate the connection between these single-celled organisms, their carbon dioxide levels and its consequences on global warming.
This research indicated, “if most of the organisms can go through the same process as the [single-celled organisms] in the research, the concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide in the oceans would grow, which would conflict with the water’s ability to absorb the existing carbon dioxide in the air. Should this hypothesis be confirmed, this adaptive mechanism would speed up global warming.”
As more news comes out on global warming and ocean acidification, I’ll be sure to blog about it!
If you are in Florida and you see a sick or injured manatee, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-FWCC. They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.
Here’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about us manatees …
Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …
~ Kobee Manatee