Ocean Acidification

Carbon dioxide addition to coral reef waters suppresses net community calcification

March 22, 2018

Coral reefs feed millions of people worldwide, provide coastal protection and generate billions of dollars annually in tourism revenue.  The underlying architecture of a reef is a biogenic carbonate structure that accretes over many years of active biomineralization by calcifying organisms, including corals and algae.  Ocean acidification poses a chronic threat to coral reefs by reducing the saturation state of the aragonite mineral of which coral skeletons are primarily composed, and lowering the concentration of carbonate ions required to maintain the carbonate reef.

Tiny Shells Indicate Big Changes to Global Carbon Cycle 

May 25, 2017

UC Davis scientists at Bodega Marine Laboratory have found that under high CO2 conditions, foraminifera had trouble building shells, repairing spines and were physiologically stressed. Without being able to properly form their shelves, their ability to neutralize acidity also lessens, making the deep ocean more acidic. The study’s other co-authors include Emily Rivest from UC Davis and Virginia Institute of Marine Science, UC Davis professors Brian Gaylord and Eric Sanford, and UC Davis associate research scientist Ann Russell.

Bay Area Scientists Saving Abalone From the Future

April 26, 2017

Scientists predict the world’s oceans will become vastly more acidic in the next 40 years due to pollution — with the impact already affecting oysters, sea urchins and coral. Researchers have seen red abalone that have suffered in areas where acid levels are already elevated.  Scientists at the Bodega Marine Laboratory said red abalone are most vulnerable to ocean conditions in the first three months of life. “There is reason to be concerned,” said BML researcher Daniel Swezey. “In addition to kind of mortality, we’re seeing they’re smaller, they’re developing more slowly.”

Canary in the Kelp Forest: Sea Creature Dissolves in Today’s Warming, Acidic Waters

April 18, 2017

In the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, researchers at the UC Davis BML, including Daniel Swezey, Jessica Bean, Aaron Ninokawa, Eric Sanford, Tessa Hill and Brian Gaylord, raised bryozoans, also known as “moss animals,” in seawater tanks to witness intense changes in body morphology and behavior. The study emphasized the challenges faced by marine life with respect to ocean acidification and global warming, bringing to light how quickly such organisms can show signs of impact.

Fish carbon-era: How our fossil fuel habit is changing the future of seafood

January 16, 2017

About a decade ago, workers at an Oregon oyster farm began to notice that the baby oysters weren’t doing so well. The die-off of spats, as they’re called, happened around the same time that the farm, located in a coastal wetland, was experiencing unusually acidic seawater conditions. They suspected that the water’s increased acidity—in this case, due to an upwelling of deep coastal water—was harming the oysters.

Ocean Acidifcation study offers warnings for marine life

November 22, 2016

The work by biodiversity researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and colleagues in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Japan and China, combines dozens of existing studies to paint a more nuanced picture of the impact of ocean acidification.

While most research in the field focuses on the impact of ocean acidification on individual species, the new work predicts how acidification will affect the living habitats, such as corals, seagrasses, and kelp forests, that form the homes of other ocean species.

Climate Change May Benefit Native Oysters, But There's a Catch

October 10, 2016

Amid efforts to restore native oyster populations on the West Coast, how are oysters expected to fare under climate change in the decades and centuries to come? Not too badly, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. But there’s a big “if” involved.