31 news posts related to Ocean Acidification

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Scientists weigh in on carbon emissions’ effect on future ocean conditions

Photo: J Meyer

Ahead of major climate talks at COP21 this year in Paris, scientists are offering insights to the far-reaching effects of rising carbon dioxide levels on the ocean. Spearheaded by the Oceans 2015 Initiative, which brought together 22 scientists and policy experts from nine different countries, the results were published this week in the journal Science and focus on how warming waters, rising seas, and ocean acidification drive changes to the global ocean. 

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UW scientists engage the next generation of oceanographers through STEM partnership

A participating teacher works to build an underwater temperature sensor.

For nearly 40 Washington State teachers attending the Olympic STEM Pathways Partnership workshop at the University of Washington in late-June, it was like Christmas had come early. Each educator sifted through a toolkit full of techy gadgets—a breadboard, ribbon cables, wires, antennas, and a microprocessor. The teachers used their cache of materials to assemble a powerful, data-collecting underwater sensor; and over the next several years, they’ll develop an approach to bring their new expertise back into the classroom. 

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Genetic switch lets marine diatoms do less work at higher CO2

The diatom used in the study is found throughout the world’s oceans, and carries out a big part of the planet’s photosynthesis. It was the first marine diatom of its type to have its full genome sequenced.

Tiny drifting algae called diatoms generate about 20 percent of the oxygen produced on Earth each year—more than all of the world’s rainforests. A new study from the College of the Environment’s School of Oceanography and Seattle’s Institute for Systems Biology looked at how common species of diatoms will adjust to sudden and long-term increases in carbon dioxide. The scientists found that when CO2 spikes, as might happen during a sudden change in ocean currents, the diatoms produce a signaling molecule that reduces the energy-intensive process required to concentrate the carbon dioxide. 

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UW's Friday Harbor Labs prove to be a prime spot to study ocean acidification

For more than a century, scientists at UW have utilized Friday Harbor Laboratories’ unique location on the shores of the Puget Sound to study a variety of marine species. With the debut of the Ocean Acidification Environmental Laboratory in 2011, research at Friday Harbor Labs expanded into monitoring the water’s pH and dissolved oxygen levels, total alkalinity, effects of ocean acidification, and strategies for adaptation. 

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New ocean acidification research points to food web impacts along US west coast

A pteropod, known as a sea butterfly (photo: NOAA)

New ocean acidification research published in late April shows a strong correlation between current ocean conditions and the dissolution of sea butterfly shells. Sea butterflies–or pteropods–play an important role in the marine food web, providing a food source for higher-level predators like salmon. The study focuses on the California Current, which stretches along the entire west coast of the United States and is a key driver of how our nearby marine ecosystems take shape and function. 

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