[Coral-List] From a Keys farmer

William Allison beliamall at dhivehinet.net.mv
Sat Mar 31 23:50:11 EDT 2007

Hi Tim, have a look at this article from this week's Science (Fine, p. 1811
- it will be stripped from the list posting). Fairly simple to work out the
ballpark temperature effect if you have the temperature-solubility
coefficients and atmospheric CO2 estimates.


> From: <terrasubaqua at peoplepc.com>
> Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 13:55:35 -0400
> To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Subject: [Coral-List] From a Keys farmer
> I would add a personal observation to the global warming discussion based on
> ten years (~4 one week visits /yr) at the same spot off Plantation Key.
> There is a fundamental chemistry link between the solubility of calcium salts
> and water temperature, and we can see the local biochemical link to crustose
> coralline algae (CCA) growth rate at work each Fall. During this seasonal
> change, our aquaculture substrate coquina rock gathers a nice coating of CCA
> over a period of several weeks, commencing just as the water temperature
> drops. The CCA appears to cover substrate much more rapidly in the Fall months
> than at any other time of year, it's a very colorful phenomenon and one we
> watch closely because CCA means added value to our live rock products. We see
> that, with other variables held to a (roughly) narrow range, the rate of CCA
> coverage growth seems largely related to the degree of saturation of the
> calcium salts in the seawater.
> This may have global ramifications, with global water temperatures rising and
> considering the significance of calcium carbonate deposition to the global
> sequestration of carbon dioxide. I wonder how rising water temperatures affect
> the global deposition of calcium carbonate? Though we might assume from
> controlled experiments it would be detrimental, some biological factors such
> as faster overall growth, reproduction rate, and/or coverage of CCA in warmer
> water, or over water temperature changes spanning particular ranges, might
> control natural feedback mechanism(s) assisting CCA (and possibly other
> calcium carbonate 'bio-consumers'?) in global- scale sequestration. Even
> though CCA seems to grow much more slowly (if at all) in mid-winter at our
> site, the warmer global water temperatures we encounter may also enhance
> reproduction or otherwise benefit overall growth over the span of a year. It
> would be interesting to see some large scale/long term field research on this
> topic as
> we struggle with the questions surrounding globally rising temperatures and
> CO2.
> Tim Birthisel 
> terrasubaqua.com
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