US carbon-reduction goals won’t save coral

The Daily Green is reporting that US carbon goals won’t protect corals, according to a study published in Geophysical Research Letters. Chemical oceanographers Long Cao and Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution’s Dept. of Global Ecology have created a computer model which estimates levels of CO2 in the atmosphere threatening to the ocean environment. According […]


NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory  (PMEL) Carbon Dioxide Program maintains a site that’s chock-a-block with info about the ocean carbon cycle, including acidification. Technical language, but accessible to the lay person. "The ocean plays a critical role in the global carbon cycle as avast reservoir that exchanges carbon rapidly with the atmosphere, andtakes up a […]

1 million tons an hour dissolving in the ocean

We were staggered to hear this statistic in KQED’s recent story on ocean acidification. Yup, that’s the rate at which carbon dioxide is dissolving in the ocean. Treehugger’s got the story running with a nice little slide show. The focus is research being conducted at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

Obama addresses ocean acidification

Sea Action Fund joined forces with 18 other science organizations to ask the US presidential candidates 14 science questions. Democratic candidate Barack Obama specifically addressed ocean acidification in his answer to the ocean health question. The question asked: "Scientists estimate that some 75 percent of the world’s fisheries arein serious decline and habitats around the […]

McCain weighs in on ocean health

John McCain has now stepped up to the plate presented by the Sciencedebate2008 folks. Hats off to them, by the way, for posing 14 questions to both U.S. presidential candidates.They’ve lined up the answers online, for maximum ease in comparing and contrasting. We of course went right to McCain’s answer on ocean health. FYI, the […]

Champagne anyone? CO2 vents provide a glimpse of the future

Natural CO2 vents on the floor of the ocean cause increased acidity in their neighborhood. Examining these microcosms gives a suggestion of what the sea floor could look like in 2100: a nice, green lawn. This particular locale features cool CO2 vents, so is particularly interesting. One researcher described diving at the site as "swimming […]

Rising ocean acidity slows marine fertilization Rising acidification of the ocean could reduce fertilization ofmarine invertebrates and might eventually wipe out colonies of seaurchins, lobsters, mussels and oysters, according to a study. Scientists knew that ocean acidification was eating away at theshells of marine animals, but the new study has found that risingacidity hindered marine sperm from swimming to and […]

Fraser River salmon returns at lowest ebb in 50 years

The Vancover Sun reports that sockeye salmon in the Fraser River are at their lowest count in 50 years. "The department [Fisheries and Oceans Canada] warned as long ago as December 2007 that this year’srun would be exceptionally weak, based on a low number of fish -521,000 – that made it back to spawning grounds […]

Google Ocean

We’re loving this new find: Google Ocean. You can find an assortment of clickable info there, a la Google Earth, including weather, tide predictions, and shipwrecks off the French coast for the divers among us. Plus the positions of submarine cables! Were we the last ones to discover this?

The Ocean Acidification Network

This is a site we know we’ll be using a lot; it’s jam-packed with info about ocean acidification. Aimed at scientists, but not too technical for the lay person. Organizations involved in the Ocean Acidification Network: the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC), the International […]

CO2 could worsen whale sonar problems

Increased absorption of CO2 by seawater changes how sound travels. Which in turn affects how whales communicate. Research published last week in Geophysical Research Letters studied the relationship between audio absorption and ocean pH. In their paper "“Unanticipated consequences of ocean acidification: A noisier ocean at lower pH,” ocean chemists Peter Brewer, Keith Hester, and […]

Colder down under

"first significant effects of ocean acidification are likely to be seenin the cold polar oceans, especially the Southern Ocean. The acid stateof the ocean is driven by a collection of chemical processes but amajor driver in them is the amount of carbon dioxide that is dissolvedinto the ocean form the atmosphere. Anthropogenic emissions of carbondioxide […]

Information for Action

Information for Action is an environmental website offering a couple of features: An easy-to-use automated lobbying service, allowing you to quickly send emails, letters or faxes to politicians and business leaders all over the world. An educational resourceexplaining the environmental issues, using words, images, maps, graphs,links, and offering solutions and a ‘What you can do’ […]

New species found in Australian reefs

Remember that tongue-eating fish we mentioned? And the dozens of other new species? See them in living color in this story from NTDTV. The species were discovered by an expedition mounted by the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Scientist JulianCaley says they never expected to find so many new species.It’ll take years just to name […]

Olivia Chantecaille at the Oceans Pavilion in Barcelona

Olivia Chantecaille attended the roll-out of a gorgeous booklet called Gems of the High Seas at the Oceans Pavilion. Chantecaille Cosmetics, of which she is creative director, sponsored the booklet’s publication.Gems of the High Seas focuses on six beautiful and endangered regions of the ocean. Ms. Chantecaille said: "The strongest message that I’ve gotten from […]

Krill kill in Antartica? Another victim of ocean acidification

Sorry, just couldn’t resist that headline. But the story’s no joke. It seems krill are another species extremely susceptible to changes in ocean pH, or ocean acidification. Why do we care, as humans? These are tiny creatures we can barely see. Well, they are right at the bottom of the food chain, just like pteropods […]

Squids and ocean acidification

Yet another species which may be vulnerable to ocean acidification: Humboldt squid. These giant creatures—they can grow up to seven feet long—dwell in the Pacific Ocean. They play a key role in the food chain, both as predators and as prey for fish and marine mammals. Scientists from the University of Rhode Island report, in […]

Aquanauts live with coral to study acidifying ocean

This blogged by Jessica Leber on, based on a story from Climatewire (to which you have to get a subscription): "Four scientists dived down to the world’s only undersea laboratory, 60feet beneath the surface of the Florida Keys, yesterday to study ocean acidification in real time. Rising ocean acidity levels have been documented by […]

Ocean acidification

Coral may be the canary in a coal mine, as far as ocean acidification goes, but more far-reaching disruptions of ocean biology may be in store. Donald Potts, US Santa Cruz professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, expanded on this at the AGU Fall Meeting. His talk was entitled "Geobiological Responses to Ocean Acidification." Potts […]

That pesky elephant in the room–wait, there’s more than one

Courtesy of Google alerts (yet another reason to be grateful to Google, and I’m wondering when they’re going to ask for my first-born child), I discovered the Gerry’s Elephantine Blog. Loving the name and the writing. Intelligent analysis laced with dark humor: my favorite cocktail. Gerry recently posted on climate change and ocean acidification. To […]

What we don’t know about the ocean is most of it

We know nothing about the ocean, so we don’t care. Which means we don’t act to protect it. Here three ocean lovers discuss the pteropod (yes, our gorgeous old friend), and move on to our ignorance of the ocean. OliviaChantecaille is creative director for ChantecailleCosmetics and a major supporter of ocean conservation. Gwen Alston is […]

30 years earlier then we thought

This just reported on "The Southern Ocean may be 30 years closer to a tipping point for ocean acidification than previously believed, putting sea life at risk, according to research published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Analyzing seasonal changes in pH and the concentration of carbonate in the Southern […]

Climate change & Florida’s economy

Coral reefs in Florida have generated 70,000 jobs and $5.5 billion in business for the state. But climate change could wreak the sort of havoc in Florida that sub-prime mortgages have for the U.S. A new analysis commissioned by the Environmental Defense Fund details these findings. These reefs are already in jeopardy from pollution. Now […]

Ocean acidification symposium in October

Okay, we missed it. What can we say, we can´t be everywhere at once, even with the internet. Though Prince Albert II of Monaco almost was, presiding as he did over both the opening of the IUCN World Conservation Congress and the Second Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World. (We obviously need to […]

More data on coral vulnerability to increasing CO2

New Australian research suggests some coral reefs could be gone before 2050. Previous studies have underestimated the damaging effect of excess carbon dioxide on coral. Bleaching, or destruction of coral, caused by other factors such as pollution, evidently interacts with and is exacerbated by, the effect of ocean acidification, according to Ove Hoegh-Gulberg of the […]