[Coral-List] ocean acidification effects now

Bill Allison allison.billiam at gmail.com
Sat Jan 26 06:48:54 EST 2013

The list might be interested
Ries, J. B. (2012). "Oceanography: A sea butterfly flaps its wings." Nature
Geosci 5(12): 845-846.
    Ocean acidification is predicted to harm the ocean's shell-building
organisms over the coming centuries. Sea butterflies, an ecologically
important group of molluscs in the Arctic and Southern oceans, are already
suffering the effects.

As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue their inexorable rise due to
fossil fuel burning, cement production and deforestation, more carbon
dioxide is entering the surface ocean. The pH of sea water has declined as
a result. According to both field and laboratory experiments, this process
of ocean acidification will impair the ability of calcifying organisms —
such as corals, clams, snails, urchins and some calcareous algae — to build
their protective shells and skeletons within the next few centuries1, 2.
Writing in Nature Geoscience, Bednaršek and colleagues3 show that shells of
sea butterflies (Fig. 1a) — a key group of planktonic pteropod molluscs
inhabiting the high-latitude oceans — are already beginning to dissolve.

"... the earth is, always has been, and always will be more beautiful than
it is useful."
William Ophuls, 1977. The Politics of Scarcity

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