Large plastic bags in unique experiment to study ocean acidification

Mar 14, 2013
Mesocosms are used in unique study on ocean acidification in the Gullmar Fjord in Sweden. Photo: Gertje König

To study the effects of ocean acidification, ten huge plastic containers called mesocosms are placed in the Gullmar Fjord in Sweden. The project is unique: mesocosms of this size have never been used for such a long period of time. The experiment is part of a worldwide research project, and includes researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

This is the largest and longest experiment on the impact of climate change on that have been carried out to this date. A team of sixty international researchers are for five months now based at the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The research project in the Gullmar Fjord will run from January to June, under the leadership of top German researcher Ulf Riebesell.

The mesocosms has been lowered into the fjord with the help of divers from the research vessel Alkor. Each mesocosm will now enclose 55,000 litres of seawater, containing organisms from the winter waters of the Gullmar Fjord.

Carbon dioxide is added to half of the mesocosms and the researchers are going to observe the effect of different on and animal plankton by monitoring the plankton over many generations and measuring the chemistry of the water every day. They will also going to add herring and cod larvae to see how they develop in the enclosed seawater.

Similar studies have been carried out previously on a smaller scale in Polar environments, off the coast of Hawaii and off the Finnish and Norwegian coasts. However, mesocosms of this size have never been used for such a long period of time.

Explore further: Brazil carbon emissions rise for first time in decade

More information: Watch a film about the mesocosms here: www.geomar.de/en/discover/film… -facing-dissolution/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Putting a price on sea fish

Apr 19, 2011

Hakan Eggert's studies from Iceland and the Gullmar fjord on the Swedish west coast, reveal that when commercial fishermen are given fishing rights they voluntarily choose more sustainable fishing methods and earn far more. ...

Global change puts plankton under threat

May 04, 2012

Changes in the ocean’s chemistry, as a result of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, threaten marine plankton to a greater extent than previously thought, according to new research.

Real science in virtual school labs

May 14, 2012

Up-to-date marine data enables students to carry out scientifically valid virtual experiments. The method yields insights on how scientific knowledge is created and developed, according to research from the ...

Arctic studies show dire effect of ocean acidity

Jul 26, 2010

The icy Arctic waters around Norway's archipelago of Svalbard may seem pristine and clear, but like the rest of the world's oceans they are facing the threat of growing acidity.

Recommended for you

Nicaragua: Studies say canal impact to be minimal

3 hours ago

Officials said Thursday that studies have determined a $40 billion inter-oceanic canal across Nicaragua will have minimal impact on the environment and society, and construction is to begin next month.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ScooterG
1 / 5 (2) Mar 14, 2013
Maybe we could make plastics containing a high baking soda content, that way when dumb-fks dump their garbage in the ocean, it will help neutralize the acid.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.