Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

First evidence of ocean acidification affecting live marine creatures in the Southern Ocean

26.11.2012
The shells of marine snails – known as pteropods – living in the seas around Antarctica are being dissolved by ocean acidification according to a new study published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience. These tiny animals are a valuable food source for fish and birds and play an important role in the oceanic carbon cycle*.

During a science cruise in 2008, researchers from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the University of East Anglia (UEA), in collaboration with colleagues from the US Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), discovered severe dissolution of the shells of living pteropods in Southern Ocean waters.

The team examined an area of upwelling, where winds cause cold water to be pushed upwards from the deep to the surface of the ocean. Upwelled water is usually more corrosive to a particular type of calcium carbonate (aragonite) that pteropods use to build their shells. The team found that as a result of the additional influence of ocean acidification, this corrosive water severely dissolved the shells of pteropods.

Ocean acidification is caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere emitted as a result of fossil fuel burning. A number of laboratory experiments have demonstrated the potential effect of ocean acidification on marine organisms. However, to date, there has been little evidence of such impacts occurring to live specimens in their natural environment. The finding supports predictions that the impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems and food webs may be significant.

Lead author, Dr Nina Bednaršek, formerly of BAS and UEA, and now of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says:

"We know that the seawater becomes more corrosive to aragonite shells below a certain depth – called the 'saturation horizon' – which occurs at around 1000m depth. However, at one of our sampling sites, we discovered that this point was reached at 200m depth, through a combination of natural upwelling and ocean acidification. Marine snails – pteropods – live in this top layer of the ocean. The corrosive properties of the water caused shells of live animals to be severely dissolved and this demonstrates how vulnerable pteropods are. Ocean acidification, resulting from the addition of human-induced carbon dioxide, contributed to this dissolution. "

Co-author and science cruise leader, Dr Geraint Tarling from BAS, says:

"Although the upwelling sites are natural phenomena that occur throughout the Southern Ocean, instances where they bring the 'saturation horizon' above 200m will become more frequent as ocean acidification intensifies in the coming years. As one of only a few oceanic creatures that build their shells out of aragonite in the polar regions, pteropods are an important food source for fish and birds as well as a good indicator of ecosystem health. The tiny snails do not necessarily die as a result of their shells dissolving, however it may increase their vulnerability to predation and infection consequently having an impact to other parts of the food web."

Co-author, Dr Dorothee Bakker from the University of East Anglia, says:

"Climate models project a continued intensification in Southern Ocean winds throughout the 21st century if atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to increase. In turn, this will increase wind-driven upwelling and potentially make instances of deep water – which is under-saturated in aragonite – penetrating into the upper ocean more frequent. Current predictions are for the 'saturation horizon' for aragonite to reach the upper surface layers of the Southern Ocean by 2050 in winter and by 2100 year round. "

This research was funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the European Union Marie Curie Early Stage Training Network.

Issued by British Antarctic Survey

British Antarctic Survey media contact:

Audrey Stevens, Tel: +44 (0) 1223 221414; Mob: +44 (0)7736 921693; email: auev@bas.ac.uk

Heather Martin, Tel: +44 (0) 1223 221226; Mob: +44 (0)7740 822 229; email: hert@bas.ac.uk

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (USA) media contact:

Jana Goldman, Tel: +1 301-734-1123; email: jana.goldman@noaa.gov

School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia media contact:

Lisa Horton, Tel: +44 (0) 1603 592764; Mob: +44 (0) 7824 475253; email: L.Horton@uea.ac.uk

Science contacts:

Dr Nina Bednaršek, NOAA (USA) – Tel. +1 206 526 4422; email: nina.bednarsek@googlemail.com

Dr Geraint Tarling, British Antarctic Survey (UK) – Tel: +44 (0) 1223 221596; Mob: +44 07910 186 486 email: gant@bas.ac.uk

Dr Dorothee Bakker, University of East Anglia (UK) – Tel: +44 (0)1603 592648; email: D.Bakker@uea.ac.uk

Notes for Editors:

Extensive dissolution of live pteropods in the Southern Ocean by N. Bednaršek, G. A. Tarling, D. C. E. Bakker, S. Fielding, E. M. Jones, H. J. Venables, P. Ward, A.Kuzirian, B. Lézé, R. A. Feely, and E. H. Murphy is published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

**Stunning broadcast-quality footage and stills of Antarctica, the RRS James Clark Ross and pteropod snails are available from the BAS Press Office as above or to download at: ftp://ftp.nerc-bas.ac.uk/pub/photo/PR-2012-13-Tarling/

*Carbon cycle - the method by which carbon is absorbed and released by the ocean.

Upwelling - an oceanographic phenomenon that involves wind-driven motion of cooler, and usually nutrient-rich water towards the ocean surface, replacing the warmer, usually nutrient-depleted surface water.

Aragonite is a crystal form of calcium carbonate that can dissolve rapidly when its saturation in seawater falls below a threshold level. Aragonite saturation generally decreases with depth and the threshold level where dissolution occurs, called the 'saturation horizon', is usually reached at around 1000m depth. Ocean acidification has caused this horizon to shallow in modern times. It has been predicted that the saturation horizon may reach the surface across much of the Southern Ocean by 2100.

The pteropod-snail (Limacina helicina antarctica) – is the size of a pinhead (1cm), lives to depths of 200m, and is an abundant species in Southern Ocean waters.

Polar Regions are where ocean acidification effects are most likely to be seen first, since their colder temperatures mean a large susceptibility of the aragonite saturation to the absorption of anthropogenic carbon dioxide.
British Antarctic Survey (BAS), a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through its extensive logistic capability and know-how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs. For more information visit www.antarctica.ac.uk

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is the UK's main agency for funding and managing world-class research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. It coordinates some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on earth, and much more. NERC receives around £320 million a year from the government's science budget, which it uses to fund independent research and training in universities and its own research centres. www.nerc.ac.uk

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is ranked in the top two per cent of universities in the world and was ranked joint fourth for student satisfaction in the 2012 National Student Survey. It is in the UK Top 10 for research citations and is a leading member of the Norwich Research Park - one of Europe's biggest concentrations of researchers in the fields of environment, health and plant science. www.uea.ac.uk.

UEA's School of Environmental Sciences is one of the longest established, largest and most fully developed of its kind in Europe. In the last Research Assessment Exercise, 95 per cent of the school's activity was classified as internationally excellent or world leading, and it was ranked 3rd in the Guardian League Table 2013. It was ranked joint second in the country for teaching in the 2012 National Student Survey. www.uea.ac.uk/env

Audrey Stevens | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bas.ac.uk

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Underground fungi detected from space
04.05.2016 | Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

nachricht How much does groundwater contribute to sea level rise?
03.05.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: MICROSCOPE sendet

Am Montag, 2. Mai 2016, erreichte die Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler vom Zentrum für angewandte Raumfahrttechnologie und Mikrogravitation (ZARM) der Universität Bremen die erste Erfolgsmeldung von ihrem Forschungs-Satelliten. Per Videoübertragung waren sie zugeschaltet, als die französischen Kollegen das Experiment an Bord von MICROSCOPE (MICRO Satellite à traînée Compensée pour l'Observation du Principe d'Equivalence) initialisierten und das Messinstrument die ersten Testdaten übermittelte. Damit ist der wichtigste Meilenstein der Testphase erreicht, bevor sich herausstellt, ob Einsteins Relativitätstheorie auch nach dieser Satellitenmission noch Bestand haben wird.

“#TSAGE @onera_fr is on. The test masses have been released and servo looped!!!! Great all green“ lautet die Twitter-Nachricht der französischen Partner, die...

Im Focus: Genauester Spiegel der Welt bei European XFEL in Hamburg eingetroffen

Der vermutlich präziseste Spiegel der Welt ist bei European XFEL in der Metropolregion Hamburg eingetroffen. Der 95 Zentimeter lange Spiegel ist ein wichtiges Bauteil des Röntgenlasers, der 2017 in Betrieb gehen soll. Auf den ersten Blick sieht er einem normalen Spiegel durchaus ähnlich, ist jedoch extrem flach und glatt. Die größten Unebenheiten auf seiner Oberfläche haben eine Dimension von gerade einmal einem Nanometer, einem milliardstel Meter. Diese Präzision entspräche einer 40 Kilometer langen Straße, deren maximale Unebenheit gerade einmal so groß ist wie der Durchmesser eines Haars.

Der Röntgenspiegel ist der erste von mehreren, die an unterschiedlichen Stellen der Anlage zum Spiegeln und Filtern des Röntgenlaserstrahls eingebaut werden....

Im Focus: Erste Filmaufnahmen von Kernporen

Mithilfe eines extrem schnellen und präzisen Rasterkraftmikroskops haben Forscher der Universität Basel erstmals «lebendige» Kernporenkomplexe bei der Arbeit gefilmt. Kernporen sind molekulare Maschinen, die den Verkehr in und aus dem Zellkern kontrollieren. In ihrem kürzlich in «Nature Nanotechnology» publizierten Artikel erklären die Forscher, wie bewegliche «Tentakeln» in der Pore die Passage von unerwünschten Molekülen verhindern.

Das Rasterkraftmikroskop (AFM) ist kein Mikroskop zum Durchschauen. Es tastet wie ein Blinder mit seinen Fingern die Oberflächen mit einer extrem feinen Spitze...

Im Focus: Nuclear Pores Captured on Film

Using an ultra fast-scanning atomic force microscope, a team of researchers from the University of Basel has filmed “living” nuclear pore complexes at work for the first time. Nuclear pores are molecular machines that control the traffic entering or exiting the cell nucleus. In their article published in Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers explain how the passage of unwanted molecules is prevented by rapidly moving molecular “tentacles” inside the pore.

Using high-speed AFM, Roderick Lim, Argovia Professor at the Biozentrum and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute of the University of Basel, has not only directly...

Im Focus: 2+1 ist nicht immer 3 - In der Mikro-Welt macht Einigkeit nicht immer stark

Wenn jemand ein liegengebliebenes Auto alleine schiebt, gibt es einen bestimmten Effekt. Wenn eine zweite Person hilft, ist das Ergebnis die Summe der Kräfte der beiden. Wenn zwei kleine Teilchen allerdings ein weiteres kleines Teilchen anschieben, ist der daraus resultierende Effekt nicht notwendigerweise die Summe ihrer Kräfte. Eine kürzlich in Nature Communications veröffentlichte Studie hat diesen merkwürdigen Effekt beschrieben, den Wissenschaftler als „Vielteilchen-Effekt“ bezeichnen.

 

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Diabetes Kongress in Berlin beginnt heute

04.05.2016 | Veranstaltungen

UFW-Fachtagung im Vorzeichen von Big Data und Industrie 4.0

03.05.2016 | Veranstaltungen

analytica conference 2016 in München - Foodomics, mehr als nur ein Modebegriff?

03.05.2016 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Mehr als eine mechanische Barriere - Epithelzellen kämpfen aktiv gegen das Grippevirus

04.05.2016 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Dreifaches Leuchten gegen Geldfälschung und Produktpiraterie

04.05.2016 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Schutz für den Schiffsrumpf: Fraunhofer IMWS präsentiert Antifouling-Lack auf der MS Wissenschaft

04.05.2016 | Materialwissenschaften