2011-12-06 09:17:43Ocean Acidification: Corrosive waters arrive in the Bering Sea
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.155.7

Blog post is here.

2011-12-06 17:49:49
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
121.216.68.197

Good post Rob. Just one quibble. I'm not sure about the use of the word 'corrosive'. Implying attack by strong acid or alkali and tending to anchor peoples perception of the issue to Ph rather than carbonate chemistry. But I can't think of a better word!

2011-12-06 18:15:07
alan_marshall

alan.from.tas@gmail...
220.236.15.235

I’m comfortable with the word corrosive. Look at the holes eaten in the pteropod shell in the image of seawater under-saturated in aragonite. Down in my part of the world, corrosion is evident today in Southern Ocean foraminifera.

The role of phytoplankton blooms in increasing acidity in the depths of the Bering Sea rebuts the denier meme that "CO2 is good for plants".

Great post, Rob. My only correction is a typo: "Something once considered to be some decades away is already"

2011-12-06 20:06:21
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.201.199

Glenn, I get your drift, but I have described the process in the section entitled "OA is definitely not OK." Also, a few oceanographers use the word in their papers too. So I'm not alone. From my perspective, if they associate the word "corrosive" with OA, then mission accomplished. Better than "Ocean acidification? meh......"

Thanks Alan. Typo fixed.  

2011-12-06 22:43:50Looks good; some nits
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

From

You've probably read it before, some aspect of global warming is happening much faster, or sooner than anticipated by the scienitific community.

To

You've probably read it before, some aspect of global warming is happening much faster, or sooner than anticipated by the scientific community.

 

and from

Figure 1 - Observations of aragonite (shown in colour) and calcite (shown in black with contour lines) saturation states along the transect lines of two oceanograhic voyages in the summer and fall of 2009.

to

Figure 1 - Observations of aragonite (shown in colour) and calcite (shown in black with contour lines) saturation states along the transect lines of two oceanographic voyages in the summer and fall of 2009.

 

and from

OA is defintely not OK

to

OA is definitely not OK

 

and from

Typically, the upper oceans are supersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate (chalk), which simply means there are more than enough carbonate ions in seawater for shell-building. The 3 forms used in shell-building, in descending order of solubility (a measure of how easily they dissolve) being, high-magnesian calclite, aragonite and calcite.

to

Typically, the upper oceans are supersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate (chalk), which simply means there are more than enough carbonate ions in seawater for shell-building. The 3 forms used in shell-building, in descending order of solubility (a measure of how easily they dissolve) being, high-magnesian calcite, aragonite and calcite.

 

and from

The eastern Bering sea is a vast shallow coastal region off Alaska which is covered by sea ice in the cooler months.

to

The eastern Bering Sea is a vast shallow coastal region off Alaska which is covered by sea ice in the cooler months.

 

and from

Figure 2 - Generalized description of the proccesses affecting the carbonate chemistry of the eastern Bering Sea.

to

Figure 2 - Generalized description of the processes affecting the carbonate chemistry of the eastern Bering Sea.

 

and from

Feeley (2004),  found that the shell of these pteropods dissolved when exposed to seawater undersaturated in aragonite. Comeau (2010), also witnessed corrosive waters dissolving the shell of a Mediterranean pteropod, and found that it was even able to survive (in the protected study environment) without a shell, although Comeau (2011) point out that it's highly unlikely that such shell-less 'sea butterfiles' would survive in a natural environment.

to

Feeley (2004),  found that the shell of these pteropods dissolved when exposed to seawater undersaturated in aragonite. Comeau (2010), also witnessed corrosive waters dissolving the shell of a Mediterranean pteropod, and found that it was even able to survive (in the protected study environment) without a shell, although Comeau (2011) point out that it's highly unlikely that such shell-less 'sea butterflies' would survive in a natural environment.

2011-12-07 03:27:55Grammar edits
Sphaerica

Bob@Lacatena...
76.28.5.93

comes the Bering Sea. See figure 1.

should be

comes from the Bering Sea. See figure 1.

Increasing acidity in the Bering Sea, puts fishing industry in peril

should be (no comma)

Increasing acidity in the Bering Sea puts fishing industry in peril

or else

Acidity increasing in the Bering Sea, puts fishing industry in peril

 

sea ice over warmer months, flush low

becomes (no comma)

sea ice over warmer months flush low

 

into living tissue, creates a strong

becomes (no comma)

into living tissue creates a strong

 

to aragonite, and at times, to calcite too

becomes (no comma)

to aragonite, and at times to calcite too

or (one more comma)

to aragonite, and, at times, to calcite too

2011-12-07 04:13:58Further edits
Sphaerica

Bob@Lacatena...
76.28.5.93

Feeley (2004),  found that the shell of these pteropods

should be (no comma)

Feeley (2004)  found that the shell of these pteropods

 

Comeau (2010), also witnessed corrosive waters dissolving

should be (no comma)

Comeau (2010) also witnessed corrosive waters dissolving

 

relevance is Lischka (2011,) whose

should be (comma outside of right parenthesis and link)

relevance is Lischka (2011), whose

 

able to absorb more CO2. Melting sea ice, and thaw over land, flushing

should be (to remove sentence fragment)

able to absorb more CO2, and melting sea ice and thaw over land, flushing

 

corrosive, and also warm, seawater both contribute

should be (commas removed because of the presence of the qualifier "both")

corrosive and also warm seawater both contribute

2011-12-07 04:17:24Suggestion
Sphaerica

Bob@Lacatena...
76.28.5.93

As a point of substance, because your list of takeaway points is so lengthy, I believe three deserve reiteration at the end, a sort of "to repeat the key points" list, because they are the common-man takeaways that represent the bottom line realities once the science is understood and accepted:

  • Rather than some far-flung concern for future generations, ocean acidification is already here and affecting marine life.
  • The eastern Bering Sea is one of the most productive seas on Earth, and these waters provide almost half of the US fish catch.
  • Projected acidification, and ocean warming may have profoundly negative consequences for the area, and for the United States fishing industry.

This is a great post by the way, one that I enjoyed reading immensely both because of its nature, its science (with which I am only vaguely familiar), and the surprising conclusions.

2011-12-07 06:56:50
Jsquared

jfjanak@myfairpoint...
71.173.93.84

Is it worth mentioning Ries, Cohen and McCorkle, Geology 37, 1131 (2009) ?  You can find some pictures and a description of the work (actual attempts to grow sea organisms in CO2-enhanced water) at

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2009/12/01/538_ocean_acidification_causes_shellfish_to_grow/

and

http://scienceinthetriangle.org/2009/12/acid-ocean-test-looks-to-the-past/

Might be better in the second installment.

Ries, Cohen and McCorkle, Geology

37, 1131 (2009

2011-12-07 07:15:13
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.50.140

Thanks guys - fixed the catalogue of errors & typos.

Sphaerica - yes, I tend to overegg the pudding when it comes to the takehome points. I've bolded the 3 points you highlight. Do you think that works?

2011-12-07 07:25:17
Sphaerica

Bob@Lacatena...
76.28.5.93

Rob,

Yes, I do, don't I?  That must say something about my character, or my shoddy upbringing, or my string of subtle personality disorders.

And yes, the bold is a better solution than repetitive repetition.

:)

2011-12-07 07:36:02
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.50.140

Thanks for those links Jsquared, I've mostly completed a post on ancient acidification (coral), so they'll come in handy there. I'll have to do a bit more reading because the change in ocean chemistry during the Cretaceous involved a bit more than just changing the ocean pH, the ocean was also highly saturated in calcium ions too (3-4 times todays levels IIRC), which also affected the ability to build shells.  

In regards to changes occurring today in the Bering Sea, another point to consider is that the rain of organic debris to the seafloor is also likely to de-oxygenate waters (as bacteria consume oxygen to break down the dead material). In fact warming (decreased solubility) and phytoplankton blooms are set to decrease oxygen levels at depth. Enough to affect ecosystem functioning? Pass. 

2011-12-07 07:51:44
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.136.112

Jsquared - nice how the National Geographic headline got things totally arse-about-face too! How can OA result in giant shellfish if they grow much smaller and dissolve? Does make one wonder what crayfish and crabs are going to eat, to make them grow so much bigger eh?

2011-12-07 08:28:39
Jsquared

jfjanak@myfairpoint...
71.173.93.84

Rob Painting: Yeh, it's a little strange about those crustaceans.  One of those articles mentions something about crustaceans having a layer of something else over the shells - but it sure is complicated when you worry about food.

2011-12-07 08:46:31
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.136.112

Yeah, the difference between the various marine life responses to OA does need explanation, but science doesn't have all the answers yet.

I do recall that echinoderms (star fish, brittlestars etc) only use calcium carbonate in plates dotted along their exterior, so they aren't so dependant on the saturation state of seawater as are many other marine life. Crabs, crayfish, lobster etc make their shells of chitin, a type cellulose, so aren't so dependant on carbonate ions either.  

That is worthy of a post of it's own, but I might leave it until a wee bit more published literature is available. 

2011-12-13 03:39:24
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

This one ready to post Rob?

2011-12-13 07:34:30
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.197.160

Yup, ready to roll. 

2011-12-13 08:05:55
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Okey dokey, this one's up tomorrow.

2011-12-13 12:47:10One last tweak!
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

Foar ease of reading, insert half-line spacers between the summary bullet points.  

2011-12-13 14:51:33
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.137.110.252

Yeah I generally catch that little stuff right before I publish posts.