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Earth Science

Antarctic Marine Wildlife Is Under Threat From Ocean Acidification, Study Finds 180

A study has found that a decreased pH level in the antarctic is damaging the shells of native wildlife. "Marine snails in seas around Antarctica are being affected by ocean acidification, scientists have found. An international team of researchers found that the snails' shells are being corroded. Experts says the findings are significant for predicting the future impact of ocean acidification on marine life. The results of the study are published in the journal Nature Geoscience (abstract). The marine snails, called "pteropods", are an important link in the oceanic food chain as well as a good indicator of ecosystem health. 'They are a major grazer of phytoplankton and... a key prey item of a number of higher predators - larger plankton, fish, seabirds, whales,' said Dr Geraint Tarling, Head of Ocean Ecosystems at the British Antarctic Survey and co-author of the report."
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Antarctic Marine Wildlife Is Under Threat From Ocean Acidification, Study Finds

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2012 @06:03PM (#42089331)

    The BBC has had bias issues as far as politics is concerned, but I haven't heard any bias from them against science. That is unless you consider ocean acidification an indicator of global warming which certain fringe (stupid) groups consider to be politics.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2012 @06:17PM (#42089401)

    'Less alkali' is not the same as 'acidic'...

    But 'less alkali' is 'more acidic'. The shift in pH is surely the important point.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2012 @06:21PM (#42089413)

    Remember, this is the BBC, who took a corporate decision in 2006 to pursue an alarmist reporting stance.

    They took a decision that there was no case to be made for having always to 'balance' the reporting of mainstream science with opposing views, most of which are not represented in the scientific literature anyway. In the same way that a natural history programme should not have to balance each mention of evolution with a creationist argument.

  • Re:chem 101 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spinninggears ( 551247 ) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @06:29PM (#42089459)

    I don't the issue is how much carbon the oceans can sink. (Your giant test tube). I think the issue is whether ocean life can survive it. Besides Chem 101, there is also Biology 101.

  • Re:chem 101 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2012 @07:24PM (#42089691)

    Incidentally, for the carbon sink to fail would require the oceans to be heated to just below boiling. Not likely to happen yet for around 5 billion years.

    Chemistry 101, please say hello to Mathematics 201. All these reactions rates depend on concentrations. So say hello to differential equations. The rates depend on concentrations. Oceans were always a sink and volcanoes the emitters. But if you 100x the emission rate, your steady state solution may not be what you think it is.

    Finally, there is Biology 101. Shells have been used by ALL forms of aquatic life at the bottom of the food chain since shortly after the formation of multicellular life 500 million years ago. Changing such a basic ocean chemistry can have catastrophic changes for the entire biosphere. It is not when you kill off all the whales or tuna that we fuck ourselves over. It is when we manage to affect the micro cellular life, the phytoplankton, the bugs, that the real change begins..

    So I don't know what you are trying to say with your very limited knowledge on the subject. Maybe you are like a lot of arrogant people with little knowledge thinking they know everything on the subject. Maybe if you gain some additional knowledge you will figure out how little you actually know.

  • by Genda ( 560240 ) <> on Sunday November 25, 2012 @08:21PM (#42089901) Journal

    Because whats going extinct is at the bottom of the food chain. It means everything above it goes extinct... and no, this hasn't happened in hundreds of millions of years. The impact is profound, and sudden (on biological scales) and devastating to all life on the planet. You and your children will be impacted. The ocean covers 3/4 of the planets surface and people in Kansas are impacted by the ocean directly. Someone is telling you that you have cancer, and your response is "Tell me when I hit stage four, then I'll worry." Interesting, but loony. Perhaps a little chemo and surgery now are indicated, Hmmmm.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2012 @08:42PM (#42090003)

    And then they lied about it.

    I wonder why they did that if it was all above board? Could it be because the 'top scientists' they claimed had given them the OK to do this turned out to be Greenpeace? After they had spent GBP 1.3m trying to keep this information secret from a FOIA request?

    If it looks like corruption, and smells like corruption, I wonder why you defend it?

  • by WOOFYGOOFY ( 1334993 ) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @08:46PM (#42090021)

    This is just one of the realistic doomsday scenarios that people need to take seriously- the collapse of food chain in the oceans.

    Remember, it doesn't have to be that oceans are completely and totally dead for people to start acting as if they are. It's enough that they no longer provide food or jobs for a lot of people, especially in developing nations. When the oceans are seen to be moving inevitably and inexorably to that condition , then it's as good as real, just like a stock that people understand is going to zero is as good as worthless even when it's price is still positive.

    If the really small things that support the fisheries- thing like phytoplankton which support the zooplankton which in turn support start to fail it takes with it the krill, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, tuna then upwards to the fish we eat -and we'll know if it starts to happen- then there will be price-panic food buying with the result that right then, tens of millions start to starve and economies start to collapse.

    It doesn't have to be in full effect for the full societal reaction to get going, it just has to be *seen* as going into full effect. That's when the chaos, the insane inflation of food, the rioting, the wars and uncontrollable immigration and nation destabilizing kicks in. That's when the civil wars break out and the uber-terrorism- uniting the entire 3rd and 2nd worlds in a death-lust for the West kicks in.

    Do you like your life? Do you like sitting down at your computer and surfing and learning and enjoying life? Would you like to continue in the same vein? Would you like things to generally keep going progressing slowly forward? Would you like your culture and civilization to continue? Are you *conservative* in that large sense of the word? Because right now the "conservatives" in America are the most reactionary, radical literally suicidal and culture-cidal group of cretins ever created.

    Perhaps the real conservatives can step forward at this time. The guys who were in the Rod and Gun clubs, the sportsmen who were conservationists, like the WWII vets who started the ski resorts in the Rockies, maybe the people *like that* would like to step forward and reclaim their party and protect the earth from the coke snorter conservatives, the narcissist conservatives, the Aspberger conservatives for whom politics comes down to single issues like taxes or Obamacare or abortion. I'm talking about The Glenn Becks the Sara Palins the Grover Norquists the Ralph Reeds the fucking Christian Right and their one-Jesus-fixes-all-problems fucking form of goddamned mental retardation. I can't even think of one person that fits description of a real conservative in the whole motherfucking Republican Party. Oh, wait. John Huntsmen. OK. One. One motherfucker in the entire fucking party.

    The deniers war against reality and taking immediate dramatic action while it still has the chance of being effective and economically viable isn't LIKE WWIII, it IS WWIII. It IS the reason that the next wave of tens of millions of people are going die and worse, it's a foreseable, preventable well-predicted event.

    It's go time, Mr. President. It's waaaayyy past time to stop trying to diddle Congress's clit just right on this topic. It's time for the Executive to unilaterally declare global warming to be an urgent matter of national security and Executive Action to initiated unilaterally towards alternative fuels, towards conservation, towards binding treaties and against those voices in our society who have declared themselves to be terrorists determined to set off the global warming bomb and kill billions. There is nothing more to talk about , it's time for action- Executive Action. It's time to silence, disable, undermine, discredit, and dismantle those individuals and organizations who are sewing the seeds of doubt. Their careers need to be ended as ignominiously as possible and failing that their voices need to be silenced as discretely as possible. This is war. This is what war is. This is wha

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson