So the oceans aren't getting more acidic?

Discussion in 'Environment' started by konradv, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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  2. georgephillip
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    georgephillip Gold Member Supporting Member

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    "Carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, increased from its pre-industrial concentration of about 278 parts per million (ppm) to more than 391 ppm in September 2012, with the rate of rise now at 1.8 ppm per year.

    "We have already passed the tipping point of 350 ppm; above that level, life as we have known it cannot be sustained.

    "The CO2 concentration is higher now than at any time in the last 15 million years..."

    "'By the time the concentration reaches around 550 ppm (corresponding to a warming of about 2.4°C in the 2060s), it is likely that coral reefs in many areas would start to dissolve,' the report reads.

    “'The combination of thermally induced bleaching events, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise threatens large fractions of coral reefs even at 1.5°C global warming. The regional extinction of entire coral reef eco-systems, which could occur well before 4°C is reached, would have profound consequences for their dependent species and for the people who depend on them for food, income, tourism, and shoreline protection.'

    "The report projects that the rates of change in ocean acidity over the next century will be 'unparalleled in Earth’s history.'”

    Chris Hedges: Stand Still for the Apocalypse - Chris Hedges' Columns - Truthdig
     
  3. westwall
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    westwall USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    In shallower waters, it's undeniable that increased CO2 levels result in a decreased oceanic pH, which has a profound negative effect on corals. Experiments suggest it is also very harmful to calcifying plankton. However, the strong acids used to simulate the natural increase in acidity which would result from elevated CO2 concentrations may have given misleading results, and the most recent evidence is that coccolithophores (E. huxleyi at least) become more, not less, calcified and abundant in acidic waters. Interestingly, no change in the distribution of calcareous nanoplankton such as the coccolithophores can be attributed to acidification during the PETM. Acidification
    did lead to an abundance of heavily calcified algae and weakly calcified forams.


    ingentaconnect Evolutionary consequences of the latest Paleocene thermal maximum...
     
  4. SSDD
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    SSDD Gold Member

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    Do explain how it is that most of the "shelled creatures" in the ocean evolved when atmospheric CO2 levels would have been measured in the thousands of parts per million. Or are you of the belief that the earth was created a few thousand years ago and has always been pretty much the same as we see it today?
     
  5. SSDD
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    As has been pointed out, this bit of "sky is falling nonsense" will likely go the way of CO2 causing frog mutants. The problems the snails are experiencing will in all likelyhood be traced to the explosion in tourism to the antarctic. Some invasive species brought down on a ship.

    This sort of thing is why you guys just can't be taken seriously. Every damned thing that happens is the fault of CO2. You can only cry wolf so many times before you just become background noise. Why not wait untill you really have something to blame CO2 for before shooting off your mouth. Oh, I know. Because you would be waiting for hell to freeze over before you found anything that CO2 could do beyond nourish plants and make soft drinks fizz.
     
  6. flacaltenn
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    flacaltenn USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Seems like the study is limited to areas where deep cold water (supersaturated with CO2) are mixing with surface waters. Has virtually NOTHING to do with the man-made CO2 contributions to the ocean as a whole since these areas would ALWAYS have whacked out CO2/Calcium chemistry.

    Can't wait til NOAA pulls another oyster sham and tries to kill THESE larvae with 10X doses of CO2 -- only to create healthier happier snails..
    :D
     
  7. georgephillip
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    georgephillip Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Right after you prove that "shelled creatures in the oceans evolved when atmospheric CO2 levels would have been measured in the thousands of parts per million." Unless you believe Exxon Mobile invented chitin?
     
  8. westwall
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    westwall USMB Mod Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Who cares. Corals respond quite easily and well to the increased acid in the water. Acidification MAKES THEM STRONGER.




    Ocean acidity has increased by 30% since preindustrial times due to the uptake of anthropogenic CO2 and is projected to rise by another 120% before 2100 if CO2 emissions continue at current rates. Ocean acidification is expected to have wide-ranging impacts on marine life, including reduced growth and net erosion of coral reefs. Our present understanding of the impacts of ocean acidification on marine life, however, relies heavily on results from short-term CO2 perturbation studies. Here, we present results from the first long-term CO2 perturbation study on the dominant reef-building cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa and relate them to results from a short-term study to compare the effect of exposure time on the coral's responses. Short-term (1 week) high CO2 exposure resulted in a decline of calcification by 26–29% for a pH decrease of 0.1 units and net dissolution of calcium carbonate. In contrast, L. pertusa was capable to acclimate to acidified conditions in long-term (6 months) incubations, leading to even slightly enhanced rates of calcification. Net growth is sustained even in waters sub-saturated with respect to aragonite. Acclimation to seawater acidification did not cause a measurable increase in metabolic rates. This is the first evidence of successful acclimation in a coral species to ocean acidification, emphasizing the general need for long-term incubations in ocean acidification research. To conclude on the sensitivity of cold-water coral reefs to future ocean acidification further ecophysiological studies are necessary which should also encompass the role of food availability and rising temperatures.




    Acclimation to ocean acidification during long-term CO2 exposure in the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa - Form - 2011 - Global Change Biology - Wiley Online Library
     
  9. SSDD
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    Bud didn't man put that CO2 down there to hide with trenberth's missing heat?
     
  10. SSDD
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    No problem.

    Fossil Groups - Mollusks

    During the Cambrian period when mollusks first appear in the fossil record, atmospheric CO2 was between 4000ppm and 7000ppm. By the Ordovician, atmospheric CO2 had dropped to between 4000ppm and 4500ppm. By the Cretaceous period marking the beginning of the Cenozoic, the time at which recognizable modern species had evolved, atmospheric CO2 was still in excess of 1000ppm.

    [​IMG]


    So you see, these creatures evolved (even in their modern forms) when atmospheric CO2 was far higher than the present.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

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