Ocean acidification from CO2 emissions will cause physiological impairment to jumbo squid

Dec 15, 2008
Ocean acidification from CO2 emissions will cause physiological impairment to jumbo squid

(PhysOrg.com) -- The elevated carbon dioxide levels expected to be found in the world's oceans by 2100 will likely lead to physiological impairments of jumbo (or Humboldt) squid, according to research by two University of Rhode Island scientists.

The results of a study by Brad Seibel, URI assistant professor of biological sciences, and Rui Rosa, a former URI post-doctoral student now on the faculty at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, is reported in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers subjected the squids (Dosidicus gigas) to elevated concentrations of CO2 equivalent to those likely to be found in the oceans in 100 years due to anthropogenic emissions. They found that the squid's routine oxygen consumption rate was reduced under these conditions, and their activity levels declined, presumably enough to have an effect on their feeding behavior.

Jumbo squid are an important predator in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and they are a large component of the diet of marine mammals, seabirds and fish.

According to Seibel, jumbo squid migrate between warm surface waters at night where CO2 levels are increasing and deeper waters during the daytime where oxygen levels are extremely low.

"Squids suppress their metabolism during their daytime foray into hypoxia, but they recover in well-oxygenated surface waters at night," he said. "If this low oxygen layer expands into shallower waters, the squids will be forced to retreat to even shallower depths to recover. However, warming temperatures and increasing CO2 levels may prevent this. The band of habitable depths during the night may become too narrow."

Carbon dioxide enters the ocean via passive diffusion from the atmosphere in a process called ocean acidification. This phenomenon has received considerable attention in recent years for its effects on calcifying organisms, such as corals and shelled mollusks, but the study by Seibel and Rosa is one of the first to show a direct physiological effect in a non-calcifying species.

The scientists speculate that the squids may eventually migrate to more northern climes where lower temperatures would reduce oxygen demand and relieve them from CO2 and oxygen stress. While it is possible, they say, that the squids could adjust their physiology over time to accommodate the changing environment, jumbo squids have among the highest oxygen demands of any animal on the planet and are thus fairly constrained in how they can respond.

"We believe it is the blood that is sensitive to high CO2 and low pH," Seibel said. "This sensitivity allows the squids to off-load oxygen more effectively to muscle tissues, but would prevent the squid from acquiring oxygen across the gills from seawater that is high in CO2."

While many other squid and octopus species have oxygen transport systems that are equally sensitive to pH, few have such high oxygen demand coupled with large body size and low environmental oxygen. Therefore the scientists believe that their study results should not be extrapolated to other marine animals.

Source: University of Rhode Island

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Avitar
2.8 / 5 (13) Dec 15, 2008
What is it with these warmists? They can not get the last decade right and they expect us to credit their opinion for 2100? News Flash, the singularity is perhaps all of forty years away! Think thirty years if you want to make reliable predictions.
MikeB
2.5 / 5 (10) Dec 15, 2008
This is a first. Usually Global Warming only hurts cuddly creatures, and helps mean creatures like sharks and snakes. We are entering a new era where even ugly creatures will be hurt by that nasty CO2.
I am looking forward to the new stories!
Nartoon
2.5 / 5 (11) Dec 15, 2008
Then it's a good thing that the oceans, Pacific in particular, are actually cooling!
thermodynamics
3 / 5 (10) Dec 15, 2008
Then it's a good thing that the oceans, Pacific in particular, are actually cooling!


Not by any measurements that I have seen. Instead, the temperatures are rising. Let me give you an example of how you can tell if an ocean is getting warmer or cooler. The ocean surfaces are presently rising at a few mm per year. The reason they rise is predominantly due to thermal expansion. If the oceans are cooling, they will contract (that is called physics). There can be a small contribution due to melting glaciers but that is considered to be a small portion of the rise at this time. So, if the oceans are rising (which all measurements I have seen indicate they are), then they are most likely to be doing that in response to heating (expansion).

What you may be confusing is the fact that ocean surface temperatures can change either up and down due to shifts in winds and currents. However, what is important for sea level rise is the total change in temperature of the body of water (including the depths). While a local section of surface water can change either direction in temperature, if the entire ocean surface is rising, the bulk of the water is being heated.
morpheus2012
2.4 / 5 (10) Dec 15, 2008
lol u gotta be kidding me

with this aobvious tittle u can see how desperate the global warming scam artists are
gopher65
3.4 / 5 (9) Dec 15, 2008
Uh... I'd like to point out that ocean acidification and "Global Warming" are unrelated phenomenon. The only reason they are getting linked is because CO2 gets mentioned in both.

CO2 is easily dissolved in water (rain especially, since it falls through the air and comes in contact with greater amounts of CO2 than standing water). When it is dissolved in water the water becomes highly acidic. This is why softdrinks still eat away at your teeth even when they are sugar free. Lots of CO2 dissolved in there.

Anyway, ocean acidification is of FAR greater concern than global warming. I care not if the ice caps melt, but I am rather fond of the algae that produce virtually all of the oxygen that I breath, and they can't survive in an ocean that is much more acidic than what we have right now.
Velanarris
4.5 / 5 (8) Dec 16, 2008
Anyway, ocean acidification is of FAR greater concern than global warming. I care not if the ice caps melt, but I am rather fond of the algae that produce virtually all of the oxygen that I breath, and they can't survive in an ocean that is much more acidic than what we have right now.


Actually a lot of coccliophores and phytoplankton prefer higher CO2 dissolved in their waters.

As for the jumbo squid, they're one of the oldest creatures on the planet, they've actually lived through periods of much higher CO2. I'm not sure we fully understand how they'll adapt to changing CO2 content.
Roach
3.9 / 5 (7) Dec 16, 2008
Vel, True, but that was normal CO2 not Man Made CO2. :)
MikeB
4 / 5 (4) Dec 16, 2008
Thermodynamics,
Perhaps you should read this article before you say the Pacific is warming.

http://wattsupwit...c-cools/

The info is from Nasa's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory. The graphic shows the sea level in the Pacific has dropped, which indicates a cooling Pacific Ocean. This is a very recent article. I'm afraid you are using old information.
Thanks for your consideration of this matter,
Mike
Bolandista
5 / 5 (5) Dec 16, 2008
The effect of higher chronic levels of CO2 on animals with higher metabolic rates, such as mammals and birds, would be a very relevant study for the human race. Does anyone know of such a study being carried out?
Roach
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 16, 2008
Bolandista,
If you are just looking for comfort, LD50 or Ceiling thresholds then most of that data has been aquired by OSHA, but the small changes that people are citing in the atmosphere even in their worst case scenario's are supposed to kill us all(according to AGW) long before the levels reach any of those levels.
MikeB
4.3 / 5 (6) Dec 16, 2008
I wonder if the physiological damage to the squid will affect the taste of calamari? Maybe it will make them less tough and even more delicious! :)
thermodynamics
1.3 / 5 (4) Dec 16, 2008
Thermodynamics,
Perhaps you should read this article before you say the Pacific is warming.

http://wattsupwit...c-cools/

The info is from Nasa's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory. The graphic shows the sea level in the Pacific has dropped, which indicates a cooling Pacific Ocean. This is a very recent article. I'm afraid you are using old information.
Thanks for your consideration of this matter,
Mike


Mike: Thanks for the link to a secondary site. However, if you go back to the actual JPL site

http://sealevel.j...ck-look/

instead of taking an interpretation from someone else, you will see that the graphic they are looking at has, according to JPL, removed the "trend" from the graphics. Then if you go back and look up the trend you will see that sea level is monotonically increasing. What you are looking at is how the water humps up when it is heated and contracts when it is cold while keeping a gravitationally stable surface over a short time span. In the mean time the TREND is expansion. Please try to provide a more accurate interpretation of the data you are producing.

Thanks for the opening. I love it when someone doesn't look closely at their "evidence." :-)
MikeB
4 / 5 (4) Dec 17, 2008
Here is the NASA link:

http://www.jpl.na...2008-231

"The image is based on the average of 10 days of data centered on Nov. 15, 2008, compared to the long-term average of observations from 1993 through 2008. In the image, places where the Pacific sea-surface height is higher (warmer) than normal are yellow and red, and places where the sea surface is lower (cooler) than normal are blue and purple. Green shows where conditions are near normal. Sea-surface height is an indicator of the heat content of the upper ocean.

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation is a long-term fluctuation of the Pacific Ocean that waxes and wanes between cool and warm phases approximately every five to 20 years. In the present cool phase, higher-than-normal sea-surface heights caused by warm water form a horseshoe pattern that connects the north, west and southern Pacific."

According to NASA this could last a while. Just read NASA's article. They're saying that it's getting cooler and it'll stay that way for a while. Not me.

Thanks,
Mike
thermodynamics
1.2 / 5 (5) Dec 17, 2008
Mike:

Again, you are not looking at the trend, you are looking at the "oscillation." Here is a pretty straight forward approach to the question of sea level rise at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikiped...vel_rise

And here is a NASA site addressing seal level rise since the glaciers started melting after the last ice age (including today)

http://www.giss.n...nitz_09/

Please read through the second one since it addresses the 20th century on also.
Roach
5 / 5 (2) Dec 17, 2008
I wonder if the physiological damage to the squid will affect the taste of calamari? Maybe it will make them less tough and even more delicious! :)


Makes it taste fizzy. :) Like a seafood soda.
MikeB
4 / 5 (4) Dec 17, 2008
Therm,
Once again I didn't say it NASA did:

"The Pacific Decadal Oscillation is a long-term fluctuation of the Pacific Ocean that waxes and wanes between cool and warm phases approximately every five to 20 years."
Velanarris
4 / 5 (4) Dec 17, 2008
Thermo, did you read the following quote from the NASA site you linked?

At many low-latitude ocean islands and coastal sites distant from the effects of glaciation, sea level stood several meters higher than present during the mid-Holocene and has been falling ever since.


This has to be a rather old page, no mention of the JASON satellite systems, no mention of any other GISS data sources.

Very poor reading material overall seeing as the have the ice age water levels wrong and a few other errata.
MikeB
4 / 5 (4) Dec 17, 2008
"Here is a pretty straight forward approach to the question of sea level rise at Wikipedia"

Sea Level rise is not the question. If you remember, in the fourth comment, you said:

"Not by any measurements that I have seen."

In response to:
"Then it's a good thing that the oceans, Pacific in particular, are actually cooling!"

Which means you believe that the Pacific Ocean is warming. All I pointed out to you is that according to NASA, the Pacific Ocean is cooling. This was not a discussion of sea levels.

Please try to keep up and not stray too far from the point. I have heard that scientists are absent-minded, perhaps you should read all the previous comments before you take us too far off course.
Thanks for your attention,
Mike Bryant

thermodynamics
1 / 5 (4) Dec 18, 2008
MikeB:

One more try then we can move on to something else. You State: "In response to:
"Then it's a good thing that the oceans, Pacific in particular, are actually cooling!"

You continue to confuse an oscillation of the surface temperatures with a trend in temperatures. The reason ocean sea level is important is that the sea level rises in response to all of the integrated heat deposited at all depths. The surface fluctuations are superimposed on the trend. That is what the sites say. You seem to mean that implies that the ocean is cooling when it is actually the oscillations of the surface conditions that both warm and cool. The oceans have been warming and expanding since the end of the last ice age. They just happen to be warming faster and expanding faster now and trending higher. The raise in sea level is a proxy for temperature and addresses your initial observation that:
"Then it's a good thing that the oceans, Pacific in particular, are actually cooling!"
The bottom line is that they are not cooling, they are heating. The surface currents can show a difference in local height in both directions when they respond to local weather conditions or currents. However, that does not mean the ocean is cooling, it means that you have to use other signals to look at the trend (which I have tried to point out).

Thanks for the lively discussion. Between the two of us I think we have put out enough information for anyone to review and come to their own conclusions.
morpheus2012
1 / 5 (5) Dec 18, 2008
oneslty

who gives a fak about some jumbo squid?

expet some gay animal lovers who have no life
and nothing to do? so they love animals?

couse nothing loves them back?:)
MikeB
4 / 5 (4) Dec 18, 2008
One more time.
NASA is the one saying that the Pacific Ocean is cooling not me. If you want to argue with someone call NASA.
Roach
5 / 5 (4) Dec 19, 2008
Thermo, I want to understand better, so above the Thermocline acording to NASA we are cooling, but below the thermocline according to you we are heating and thus raising the sea level? Wouldn't this imply that the heat is sub surface in origin and not solar, anthropogenic or otherwise? If that is the case, then we are out of luck because people can't control earthquakes and volcanos yet.
thermodynamics
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 20, 2008
Roach: I like to try to answer questions with data. However, I have to admit that I don't have any to even try to answer that question. I actually haven't seen any data on it but I will look because you have given me something to think about. I can do some slight of hand about orders of magnitude, but your question should be answered more accurately than that and I really don't have an answer. What we need is some information of how much energy is deposited from the ocean bottom (where the crust is thinner and where spreading takes place) into the oceans. I just haven't seen that number. I know that on land the number is given, but I haven't seen any comparisons of land versus ocean heat loss from the interior of the earth.
MikeB
5 / 5 (1) Dec 20, 2008
Therm,
Thanks for taking the time to research this question. Looking forward to your next comment,
Mike Bryant
Velanarris
5 / 5 (2) Dec 20, 2008
Seeing as undersea techtonic activity would also account for ocean acidification if it is of the intensity to heat the seas, a massive body of water, would you say the current AGCC movement's argument has become sufficiently shakier to a point where the current pseudo scientitsts should be removed from their positions?

That's right, one giant leading question right there.
thermodynamics
4 / 5 (4) Dec 20, 2008
Roach and MikeB:

I have to say that this is an area that should have some serious research dollars added to it. Let me explain what I have found and not found.

First the sources of heat in the earth are still controversial. There is no accepted value of the radiogenic contribution as opposed to the mechanical contribution (from the initial formation of the earth). The reason this is an important question is that it speaks to the actual temperature and dynamic heat losses of the inner and outer core.

Second, the energy balance is not known well at all. Heat is lost through conduction and convection and the steady loss through conduction can be reasonably estimated but the episodic loss through vulcanism (convection) is not known. Also, there is coupling between the core motion and the Earth's magnetic field and no one knows what that energy balance is or how it affects temperatures.

Third, most of the ocean bottom is still unknown and so we have very little in the way of information on the amount of volcanic activity on the bottom. There is not much in the way of literature on trends or amounts of oceanic volcanic activity. Is it more than 1,000 years ago? Less than 1,000 years ago? Even more or less than 50 years ago? No one seems to address that at all. I would think there would be signatures in the deposits on the ocean floor, but I am not sure anyone has looked at them (or at least reported on them).

So, the bottom line is that there no answer to the question at this time. There should be some research performed in this area to give us an idea of the heat fluxes. I will continue to look at this in the literature but there is just not much right now. I can find the conductive fluxes but the relationship between the conductive fluxes and the total heat loss is just not apparent. Also, the amount of heat being generated in the core by the internal reactor (radioactive decay) is not readily available so I just can't come up with any estimates based on what I have found. Anyone else with more information (a geophysicist perhaps) should chime in. It is a great question.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (3) Dec 21, 2008
So thermo, would you say the above processes could have a drastic affect on climate? Answer candidly, I'm just trying to show my point to you, not formulate any sort of attack on your commentary.
MikeB
5 / 5 (3) Dec 21, 2008
Thermo,
It is that type of thoughtful approach that I see lacking in the AGW debate as it stands today. Believe me when I tell you that your thoughts on this question would not be applauded by Gore and his ilk.
As the Earth spins could heat be generated by this huge spinning magnet? Maybe not, but that is another question that has not been answered.
Is the science "settled"?
I don't think we know enough at this point to even know what all the questions are.
Again thank you for an honest look at an honest question. "I don't know." is an answer that pushes men to a better understanding of our universe. "The science is settled." is an answer that stifles debate and keeps people in the dark.
Roach
5 / 5 (2) Dec 22, 2008
Wow, Thermo, Thank you for an early Christmas Present, I enjoyed your post.
MikeB
not rated yet Dec 22, 2008
Thermo,
Here is an article that talks about sea warming by volcanoes very recent:

http://planeteart...x?id=269
MikeB
not rated yet Dec 22, 2008
Sorry it is sea surface cooling...
thermodynamics
2.8 / 5 (4) Dec 22, 2008
Vel: Not knowing how much activity there is going on right now under the oceans I have no idea how much it might be changing things. However, lets put this into perspective. There have been episodes where massive volcanic activity (Deccan traps as one example) has changed the entire earth. I think everyone acknowledges that a massive eruption on the earth's surface can change the atmosphere - so why not one on the bottom of the ocean changing the ocean? Now, let me qualify that again. I don't know what is happening on the bottom of the ocean and I haven't found a lot about it anywhere (hence my suggestion that it would be a fertile area for research). I do know there have been a number of undersea volcanoes that have been reported but I don't know how that compares with the total that take place. I think that seismometers would register major eruptions but I have no idea where the threshold is for being able to distinguish it as a volcano. So, the answer I would put forward would be that a large eruption on the bottom of the ocean should make a difference. I just don't have any idea how to judge "large."
thermodynamics
1 / 5 (2) Dec 22, 2008
MikeB: From what I have read, we don't know a lot about the two cores of the earth (inner and outer). However, we do know that the inner core spins spins faster than the outer core!:

http://news.natio...ore.html

That has to generate heat through friction.

The science is not even close to "settled" on what that means or even why the inner core moves faster than the outer core. I think it is a great concept and I would like to know more about it but I don't think there is much information about it now. Just think about it for a while. There is this moon size solid iron core that is spinning faster than the fluid core around it. What is going on? You asked about electric or magnetic fields and the answer has to be that "something" is going on that has the cores interacting to produce the Earth's magnetic field. It is just one more great area for people to investigate. As I understand it the sun rotates faster at the equator than at higher latitudes. That is attributed to the idea that the sun is not a solid body. However, the earth's outer segments are solid so I am at a complete loss as to why the inner core rotates faster than the outer. let me know if anyone has a clue on this interesting effect.
Velanarris
4 / 5 (1) Dec 22, 2008
Vel: Not knowing how much activity there is going on right now under the oceans I have no idea how much it might be changing things. However, lets put this into perspective. There have been episodes where massive volcanic activity (Deccan traps as one example) has changed the entire earth. I think everyone acknowledges that a massive eruption on the earth's surface can change the atmosphere - so why not one on the bottom of the ocean changing the ocean? Now, let me qualify that again. I don't know what is happening on the bottom of the ocean and I haven't found a lot about it anywhere (hence my suggestion that it would be a fertile area for research). I do know there have been a number of undersea volcanoes that have been reported but I don't know how that compares with the total that take place. I think that seismometers would register major eruptions but I have no idea where the threshold is for being able to distinguish it as a volcano. So, the answer I would put forward would be that a large eruption on the bottom of the ocean should make a difference. I just don't have any idea how to judge "large."

Well let's apply phonebook physics to this. Ripping a phonebook in half is a difficult task, until you realize there are many individual pages that if ripped one at a time, yield the same result.

Rather than one large "phonebook" volcano that we'd easily detect, how about several small "phonebook page" smokers. More difficult to detect, same net result, and as you say, our knowledge of the sea floor is incredibly limited.
MikeB
5 / 5 (1) Dec 22, 2008
Roger Pielke, Sr. discusses a recent study that focuses on the role of the oceans in warming:

http://climatesci...kh-2008/