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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:59 PM

Animals are Already Dissolving in Southern Ocean Acid

Source: New Scientist

Animals are already dissolving in Southern Ocean acid

18:00 25 November 2012 by Michael Marshall

"This is actually happening now," says Geraint Tarling of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. He and colleagues captured free-swimming sea snails called pteropods from the Southern Ocean in early 2008 and found under an electron microscope that the outer layers of their hard shells bore signs of unusual corrosion.

As well as warming the planet, the carbon dioxide we emit is changing the chemistry of the ocean. CO2 dissolves in water to form carbonic acid, making the water less alkaline. The pH is currently dropping at about 0.1 per century, faster than any time in the last 300 million years.

Lab experiments have shown that organisms with hard shells, such as corals and molluscs, will suffer as a result. To build their shells, corals and molluscs need to take up calcium carbonate from the water, but more carbonic acid means more hydrogen ions in the water. These react with carbonate ions, making them unavailable to form calcium carbonate.

Aragonite shortage

The most vulnerable animals are those, like pteropods, that build their shells entirely from aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate that is very sensitive to extra acidity. By 2050, there will be a severe shortage of aragonite in much of the ocean.

Read more: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22531-animals-are-already-dissolving-in-southern-ocean-acid.html

42 replies, 6702 views

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply Animals are Already Dissolving in Southern Ocean Acid (Original post)
Hissyspit Nov 2012 OP
hatrack Nov 2012 #1
Agschmid Nov 2012 #2
Gregorian Nov 2012 #3
SkyDaddy7 Nov 2012 #22
greiner3 Nov 2012 #30
Gregorian Nov 2012 #42
progressoid Nov 2012 #4
zonkers Nov 2012 #7
northoftheborder Nov 2012 #9
JustABozoOnThisBus Nov 2012 #33
NoOneMan Nov 2012 #5
olddad56 Nov 2012 #6
juajen Nov 2012 #10
CreekDog Nov 2012 #14
lunatica Nov 2012 #27
bvar22 Nov 2012 #35
ZombieHorde Nov 2012 #8
glinda Nov 2012 #11
UnrepentantLiberal Nov 2012 #12
ProfessionalLeftist Nov 2012 #13
SkyDaddy7 Nov 2012 #23
AAO Nov 2012 #15
Manifestor_of_Light Nov 2012 #16
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #17
Thekaspervote Nov 2012 #18
lunatica Nov 2012 #28
bread_and_roses Nov 2012 #32
RobertEarl Nov 2012 #37
marions ghost Nov 2012 #38
CreekDog Nov 2012 #40
cosmicone Nov 2012 #19
SariesNightly Nov 2012 #20
SkyDaddy7 Nov 2012 #24
NickB79 Nov 2012 #41
dipsydoodle Nov 2012 #21
Franker65 Nov 2012 #25
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #29
lunatica Nov 2012 #26
phantom power Nov 2012 #31
Hissyspit Nov 2012 #34
Uncle Joe Nov 2012 #36
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #39

Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:04 PM

1. K&R for the only story that matters in the long run

Hate to break up discussion on the early reports on Black Friday sales estimates and all that, but . . .

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:20 PM

2. Kick, this is incredible and dangerous. n/t

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:42 PM

3. But my compact fluorescent light bulbs!

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:28 AM

22. Could you explain...

What you mean by your comment?

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Response to SkyDaddy7 (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:10 AM

30. "Could you explain... What you mean by your comment?"

While I can't speak for the poster, this is the comment I wish I could have posted.

I LOVE the absurd and it is a big part of my humor.

If this were my post, I would have meant that wile I am doing some good to negate my Carbon Footprint, the overall effect on Global Warming/Climate Change is hardly measurable (at least compared to the billions of barrels of oil and million of tons of coal used daily around the world.

But at least SkyDaddy7 and I are doing SOMETHING!

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Response to greiner3 (Reply #30)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:14 PM

42. Excellent. Someone else sees the forest for the trees.

Which is actually population, and not all of the rest of the shit that everyone including scientists are spouting. As an engineer I was always appalled by the amazing ignorance of even the most brilliant. The answer isn't going to be engineered. And it's simple. And absolutely no one is willing to see it. Well, a few do. And all we can do is stand on the sidelines and wince.

For example, since October of last year 50 million new humans are using resources. That's several Los Angeles and New Yorks. In ONE YEAR.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:46 PM

4. People (and the media) won't get it.

They'll just see "snails are dying". Who cares.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:54 PM

7. The point that is lost is the interconnectedness of everything and that our number

one priority should be the preservation of the delicate balance that exists between the inhabitants of this planet and that includes all expressions of life. Everything else falls into line after that.

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Response to zonkers (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:18 PM

9. absolutely yes, you are so correct.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:56 AM

33. Snails arent dying ... just their shells are dissolving

Slugs welcome their new neighbors.

jk

Globally, we're seeing the effects of increasing acid rain, increasing acidity. In many locales, we don't "get it" because we see the effect of reducing pollution. Many of the smokestack industries have moved offshore, out of sight, out of mind, but of course they still impact the oceans.

Pittsburgh is cleaner. Peking, not so much.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:49 PM

5. No, because Freedom

 

These colors don't run or dissolve. American shellfish will be fine.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:54 PM

6. Climate change has become so obvious, yet we do nothing.

but stick our heads in sand like Ostriches. The harder we try to ignore the impending catastrophe, the harder it will try to get our attention.

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Response to olddad56 (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:28 PM

10. I do agree with you; however, they could be like me: What in the world

can I do to stop it. I have signed petitions and made calls to politicians offices till I am blue in the face. What more can we little people do?

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Response to juajen (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:34 PM

14. try to reduce yours and your neighbor's carbon footprints, though it's hard

and less effective without a coordinated effort by gov't to make it happen.

keep trying and keep trying to convince your friends, family and neighbors and remind them that all the things they don't want to sacrifice as things that their children will go without because their parents couldn't even sacrifice a little of them.

but in the end, all you can do is try. Europe has done many of the things we should be doing --so nobody can argue it's impossible.

one thing that will help is the recent trend away from suburbs to urbanized and dense cities, where almost everyone has a smaller carbon footprint. in cities, people live in smaller spaces, less to heat/cool and attached housing holds heat more easily and is easier to cool. people in cities tend to use more transit, which is more efficient there, especially than driving. finally, infrastructure is more cost effective and energy efficient in cities.

we just need to keep pushing the advantages of these things and eventually we will get some traction.

in our favor is that the younger generations are much more understanding of the values i'm describing. just like lots of them convinced their parents to vote for Obama, hopefully they'll also convince their parents to deal with environmental problems.

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Response to juajen (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:02 AM

27. My condo association has started a landscaping committee

There are only a handful of us who have joined, but already we've started composting and planting drought resistant and native plants. Not much, but we're just starting. Just those two things are significant though. Composting is easy. You just use the scraps you would throw away to make soil. That's recycling instead of throwing away. Useful for the plants around the condos. And getting drought resistant plants cuts down on the usage of water. Both these are small steps, but they're steps in the right direction. As more and more people get involved (we would like to start a vegetable garden which we would use our compost for).

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Response to juajen (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:34 PM

35. This is the flag of the New Rebellion!


You can make a difference.
How much of a difference is entirely up to you.

Next year, we will CONSUME even less!

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:08 PM

8. Uh oh... nt

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:37 PM

11. Like an aquarium that one morning you wake up and

they are all dead. That is what is going to happen. My heart is breaking.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:40 PM

12. The entire ecosystem will eventually spiral into an unrecoverable catastrophe.

 

It's inevitable. This will be a mostly dead planet for awhile and then new species will evolve.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:25 PM

13. Is this why the coral is bleaching? That has accelerated too, no? n/t

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:43 AM

23. Yes & no...

According to what I think I know coral bleaching has more to do with warmer oceans...The acidification of the oceans has to do with dissolved CO2. I could be wrong but I think that is the difference between the two. Regardless they are both due to human activity.

The truly sad fact is despite all the media hype about more Americans accepting anthropogenic climate change the truth is less Americans accept the evidence for ACC today than in 2001! The well oiled climate denial machine has successfully set us back more than a decade! And there is still a lack of political will among everyday Americans to actually be willing to accept sweeping regulations to lower CO2 emissions...Basically a slim majority accept the overwhelming evidence for ACC but are not willing to make the sacrifices needed to get us on track to do what scientist say is needed.

It really sucks to know the entire human species not to mention every other species on Earth is being held hostage by ignorant religious Right Wing anti-science FOOLS!

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:39 PM

15. So many things we don't understand.

 

So many interrelationships and interdependencies that we will only discover after it is too late.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:46 PM

16. I believe they have stopped harvesting coral for jewelry in many places.

White, red and pink coral are all beautiful.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:00 AM

17. K&R

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:20 AM

18. Don't take the attitude there's nothing you can do about global warming

Give money: Sierra club has a big enough PAC that they can and DO make a difference
Recycle EVERTHING you possibly can
Buy used clothing and other items at thrift stores when you can
Stop using paper towels and napkins...A double reward here- the Koch bros are very big in Georgia pacific
Turn the lights off, turn the heat down, turn the ac up, turn the water off, do your laundry in cold water, walk, ride a bike, take the bus, Use solar energy if you can, buy a tankless water heater, insulate your house, plant a garden , make a compost pile, unplug recharging devices.
This is just a small list... What if everyone on DU did these simple things??!! And then you got your uncle, brother, sister, cousin, boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, dad, aunt, friends to do the same.

Just start... Do it!! Do something you can make an impact.

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Response to Thekaspervote (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:10 AM

28. You should start your own threads about this

It's necessary to suggest solutions as simple as the ones you're telling of here. It isn't enough to just post articles about the destruction. People need to know that they can do small things themselves and that they can do them right now. When you start your own threads more people will see them. When you respond to another's thread very few people will read them. And even fewer will actually respond to you. I did because I think you have very good ideas and I would like to encourage you to disseminate them more.



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Response to Thekaspervote (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:52 AM

32. Pissing into the wind

All good and worthy actions, but while individual action may be worthy as a personal discipline, but it has just about zero effect. I have done every single one of those things for years. So have many others who took the "reduce and reuse" as seriously as the "recycle." I still do them, but not because I believe any of my actions have the slightest impact.

As for getting "your uncle, brother, sister, cousin, boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, dad, aunt, friends to do the same" - well, you won't. It's like saying "if only" - if only our Corporate Masters were kinder and gentler and less greedy and more responsible! If only! And even if they did, unless source pollution and production are altered it would make no difference. I can recycle till doomsday, but the products I'm recycling have already put an intolerable burden on the ecosystem in the manufacturing process. I can turn my thermostat down till I near freeze, and there is no less pollution from the oil and gas that fuels the heat I do use.

As for the Sierra Club, phfffttttt. Many dedicated individual activists on the ground, to be sure - unfortunately the organization itself sold out to Corporate and political forces.

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Response to bread_and_roses (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:45 PM

37. This is why I've given up on yall

Most Americans feel as you do, that there is nothing they can do. It is, imo, a mental dis-ease.

You say no one will change how they live just because they see you as an example. Well, that's just plain bs. In fact, many, after reading what you have written, will go back to not caring. If that is your intent, you're a success.

Every little bit helps. Every positive action has an effect. Just as negative actions have a counter effect. We're all in this together, and the environment responds to our every action. Choose wisely.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #37)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:55 PM

38. Small things help...

--but it just can't be left to individuals at the end of the trough to make the kind of impact we need now. I think that's what the previous poster was saying. And it's a valid point.

People need to come together to demand and expect changes at higher levels of govt and business. And I think we all know what those are without my listing them.

We all need to think bigger.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #37)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:21 PM

40. BOTH: Individual efforts to reduce and Individual Activism to cause gov't action to reduce

BOTH.

reduce your carbon footprint and do what you can to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

ask your government at every level to introduce policies, incentives, rules, strategies to help our communities reduce their impact on the globe.

one is individual effort towards personal responsibility and the other is individual citizenship towards making our society more responsible. one individual action with individual results, the other individual action aimed at a collective result.

win win.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:55 AM

19. K&R

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:36 AM

20. So sad, Factory farming is at fault

n/t

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Response to SariesNightly (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:45 AM

24. Livestock is responsible for...

Roughly 18% of all CO2 emissions.

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Response to SariesNightly (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:20 PM

41. Factory farming 7 billion humans on the planet, yes

Even without factory farming of livestock, we'd still be royally fucked. It's due to CONSUMPTION and OVERPOPULATION, of which factory farming is but one symptom of the disease.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:41 AM

21. Extensive information on the subject here

Last edited Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:28 AM - Edit history (1)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification

And from 2 years ago : Can Our Oceans Survive the Acid Attack? http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/ocean-acidification/

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:46 AM

25. Very bad situation

If the smaller animals die out, it will result in a catastrophic chain reaction.

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Response to Franker65 (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:43 AM

29. Yep, exactly, like a dead canary in a mine. n/t

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:51 AM

26. Consider them the canaries in the ocean

As long as it doesn't affect our voracious and insane consumerism we'll ignore it.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:35 AM

31. kick for "Oh Shit"

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:04 PM

34. Kick nt

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:40 PM

36. Kicked and recommended.



Thanks for the thread, Hissyspit.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:15 PM

39. I'm really getting sick of this PETA nonsense.

Oh wait,


nevermind.

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