Marine Ecosystem Response to “Ocean Acidification” Due to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment

Vogt, M., Steinke, M., Turner, S., Paulino, A., Meyerhofer, M.,Riebesell, U., LeQuere, C. and Liss, P. 2008. Dynamics ofdimethylsulphoniopropionate and dimethylsulphide under different CO
2 concentrations during a mesocosm experiment.  Biogeosciences 5: 407-419.

What was done
Effects of atmospheric CO
2enrichment on various marine microorganisms and DMS production werestudied in nine marine mesocosms maintained within 2-meter-diameterpolyethylene bags submerged to a depth of ten meters in a fjordadjacent to the Large-Scale Facilities of the Biological Station of theUniversity of Bergen in Espegrend, Norway. Three of the mesocosms weremaintained at ambient levels of CO2 (~375 ppm), three were maintained at levels expected to prevail at the end of the current century (760 ppm or 2x CO2), and three were maintained at levels predicted for the middle of the next century (1150 ppm or 3x CO2), while measurements of numerous ecosystem parameters were made over a period of 24 days.

What was learned
Vogt et that they detected no significant phytoplankton species shiftsbetween treatments, and that "the ecosystem composition, bacterial andphytoplankton abundances and productivity, grazing rates and totalgrazer abundance and reproduction were not significantly affected by CO
2 induced effects," citing in support of this statement the work of Riebesell et al. (2007), Riebesell et al. (2008), Egge et al. (2007), Paulino et al. (2007), Larsen et al. (2007), Suffrian et al. (2008) and Carotenuto et al. (2007).  In addition, they say that "while DMS stayed elevated in the treatments with elevated CO2, we observed a steep decline in DMS concentration in the treatment with low CO2," i.e., the ambient CO2 treatment.

What it means
With respect to their many findings, the eight researchers say theirobservations suggest that "the system under study was surprisinglyresilient to abrupt and large pH changes," which is just the opposite of what the world’s climate alarmists characteristically predict about CO
2-induced "ocean acidification."  And that may be why Vogt et al. described the marine ecosystem they studied as "surprisingly resilient" to such change: it may have been a little unexpected.

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