Scott’s Antarctic Samples Give Climate Clues

By Richard Black Environment correspondent, BBC News

Samples of a marine creature collected during Captain Scott’s Antarctic trips are yielding data that may prove valuable in projecting climate change.

The expeditions in the early 1900s brought back many finds including samples of life from the sea floor.

Comparing these samples with modern ones, scientists have now shown that the growth of a bryozoan, a tiny animal, has increased in recent years.

They say this means more carbon dioxide is being locked away on the ocean bed.

The tiny bryozoan, Cellarinella nutti, looks like a branching twig that has been stuck into the sea floor.

It grows during the period in the year when it can feed, drawing plankton from the water with its tentacles.

The length of the feeding season is reflected in the size of the annual growth band – just as with tree rings

Read the rest at BBC News…

Note: Newswire stories are provided as a courtesy of OceanDoctor.org. Content of these articles is provided by external sources.

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Ocean acidification may present one of the gravest threats to our planet’s ecosystems and yet it is also one of the least publicized aspects of the global climate change issue. Acidification is occurring very rapidly, causing unprecedented changes to the chemistry of the oceans. It’s been estimated that roughly half of human-produced CO2 emissions over the past two centuries (since the beginning of the industrial age) have been absorbed by the oceans, leading to a drop in ocean surface pH of nearly 0.1 units (on the logarithmic pH scale).

Coral Reef in Timor (Photo courtesy of Nick Hobgood)

Coral Reef in Timor (Photo courtesy of Nick Hobgood)

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