Ocean acidification a challenge for science, governments & communities

July 24, 2018, University of Tasmania
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new IMAS-led paper published in the science journal Nature Climate Change has highlighted the challenges faced by scientists, governments and communities as rising levels of CO2 are absorbed by the world's oceans.

Researchers have found that in recent centuries surface ocean pH has fallen ten times faster than in the past 300 million years and that impacts are being felt on ecosystems, economies and communities worldwide.

The economic cost to coral reefs, wild fisheries and aquaculture alone of the process known as Ocean Acidification is projected to reach more than US $300 billion per annum.

Associate Professor Catriona Hurd, the IMAS Lead Author of the paper, which also included researchers from CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere and ACE CRC, said Ocean Acidification posed a range of significant challenges.

"Studying how the oceans will change as they absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere is a comparatively recent field of science," Associate Professor Hurd said.

"The more scientists look at Ocean Acidification the more we're coming to understand how complex it is, and how wide-ranging and diverse the impacts will be.

"The process is not happening at uniform rates around the world, and scientists have found large regional and local variability, driven by physical, chemical and biological differences across the oceans.

"Detecting trends and changes in pH is also complicated by the wide range of other dynamic processes that are affecting the oceans, including circulation, temperature, carbon cycling and local ecosystems.

"In some parts of the world, such as Chile and the US West Coast, some fisheries are already adapting to Ocean Acidification through partnerships between scientists, industry and government.

"Other global impacts are likely to require similar collaboration and action at an international level." Associate Professor Hurd said a major question for scientists and policy-makers is whether humans should attempt to mitigate Ocean Acidification by altering ocean chemistry, or whether communities must simply adapt.

"Even if global carbon emissions were to cease today, future changes in Ocean Acidification are expected to be very long-lasting due to the amount of CO2 already in the atmosphere and the oceans.

"Our challenge as scientists is to increase our observations and modelling of changes in pH around the world.

"We will then be better placed to work with governments and communities to raise awareness of the threat of Ocean Acidification and to help develop responses," Associate Professor Hurd said.

Explore further: Ocean acidification to hit levels not seen in 14 million years

More information: Catriona L. Hurd et al, Current understanding and challenges for oceans in a higher-CO2 world, Nature Climate Change (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0211-0

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Uncle Al
not rated yet Jul 24, 2018
Wind energy and micronized iron oxide in aqueous caustic (Bayer process bauxite to alumina red mud,70 million kg/yr): One kg iron micronutrient dispersed in the Southern Sea fixes 83,000 kg of CO2 then 100,000 kg of plankton[1]. 50 million tonnes/yr added red mud removes 4 trillion tonnes/yr atmospheric CO2. 2014 global emission was 0.036 trillion tonnes[2].

100–150 million tonnes/s Antarctic Circumpolar Current transport. The Furious Fifties' wind generators power 30 multilevel spray towers each launching 53 kg/s red mud from southeastern Macquarie Island (-54.771, 158.816), Lake Ainsworth (-54.769, 158.813) as storage sump, 250 meters elevation,

Revert to pre-Industrial CO2 levels within 15 years and no limits on current carbon dioxide emissions. Do it.

[1] DOI:10.1016/0304-4203(95)00035-P
[2] https://www.co2.e...missions
1 / 5 (2) Jul 24, 2018
We will then be better placed to work with governments and communities to raise awareness of the threat of Ocean Acidification

So far, no valid "threats" from so-called "ocean acidification" have been identified. All the experiments that have been done in laboratories do not replicate what's going on in the oceans. Any saltwater aquarium owner will verify that if you change the chemistry of the aquarium too rapidly, fish and corals will be adversely affected. But the rate of change in the ocean is so slow that organisms appear to adapt just fine. No experiment has successfully replicated what's really going on in the oceans, so any "threats" are simply speculation at this point.

You can see the rate of change in ocean pH and CO2 saturation for yourself at any of the monitoring stations here:


You can see that seasonal changes in pH exceed by far the trivial long-term change, and organisms handle the changes just fine.
Thorium Boy
1 / 5 (2) Jul 24, 2018
They've known about the carbon cycle for what, 200 years? Meanwhile, the theology of man-made global warming really only got going around 1990. Around the same time the Soviet Union and the dream of global one-government communist control failed. If at first you don't succeed...

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