Rapid Rise of Ocean Acidity Surprises Scientists

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The speed with which acid levels have risen in the oceans has “caught scientists off-guard.” (Image by B Tal via Flickr)

The Christian Science Monitor reports that the speed with which acid levels have risen in the oceans has “caught scientists off-guard.” Ocean acidification was recently described by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Jane Lubchenco as climate change’s “equally evil twin,” representing one of the biggest threats to life in the oceans. Lubchenco warned that acidification amounts to “osteoporosis of the sea” and threatens coral reefs, food security, and tourism around the world.


Scientists initially assumed that the carbon dioxide absorbed by the water would be sufficiently diluted as the oceans?mixed shallow and deeper waters. But most of the carbon dioxide and the subsequent chemical changes are being concentrated in surface waters, Lubchenco said.

“And those surface waters are changing much more rapidly than initial calculations have suggested,” she said. “It’s yet another reason to be very seriously concerned about the amount of carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere now and the additional amount we continue to put out.”

Higher acidity levels are especially problematic for creatures such as oysters, because acid slows the growth of their shells. Experiments have shown other animals, such as clown fish, also suffer. In a study that mimicked the level of acidity scientists expect by the end of the century, clown fish began swimming toward predators, instead of away from them, because their sense of smell had been dulled.

…Read the full story at Ocean acidity increases surprise researchers – Christian Science Monitor

Aboard the Cape to Cape Expedition: Ushuaia and the Falkland Islands

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March 7, 2011: Join the Ocean Doctor aboard the Prince Albert II as he reports from the Cape to Cape Expedition, traveling from the tip of South America to the tip of South Africa. This week, we “land in a postcard” in beautiful Ushuaia, Argentina and encounter penguins and albatross in the beautiful Falkland Islands. Also: The second of a two-part look at a newly-issued report by World Resources Institute, “Reefs at Risk Revisited” a report that history may well show is the most important report about the oceans to be released this century. It’s more than a wakeup call — it’s truly our last call to take action to save coral reefs.

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Kraken: Up Close and Very Personal With the Giant Squid

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February 28, 2011: Few animals provoke the imagination and wonder of the sea like the squid. The giant squid is thought to have been the basis of the myriad of sea monster tales that have been spun over the centuries. And while we now know more about these animals than ever before, there’s still an incredible amount of mystery remaining to be unveiled. The book is ?Kraken: The Curious, Exciting and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid? and its author and our guest today, Wendy Williams, award-winning writer and journalist. Also: First of a two-part look at a newly-issued report by World Resources Institute, ?Reefs at Risk Revisited? a report that history may well show is the most important report about the oceans to be released this century. It’s more than a wakeup call – it’s truly our last call to take action to save coral reefs.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

Follow The Ocean Doctor on TwitterBecome a Fan on Facebook!

Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

Like the show? Learn how to become a sponsor. [Read more...]

Politics Before Science? What The Oil Spill Commission Has Revealed

The Ocean Doctor on WebTalkRadio.netAugust 30, 2010: Surprising revelations about agencies that were not consulted prior to the President’s March 2010 expansion of offshore oil drilling. Have the microbes in the Gulf of Mexico consumed the unseen oil? One study says “yes,” a second, “no.”  Or is that what they say at all? Our special guest is Nicolas Drayton, EPSCoR Coordinator in the U.S. Virgin Islands with inspirational ideas and dedication to get the next generation interested and engaged in science.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

Like the show? Learn how to become a sponsor. [Read more...]

How to Save a Shark

The Ocean Doctor on WebTalkRadio.netAugust 9, 2010: You’ve experienced Shark Week, now learn the compelling conservation story behind these incredible animals and why it matters with Shark Advocates International president, Sonja Fordham. Where’s the oil? The Ocean Doctor’s Spin Alarm is triggered by the Administration’s misleading sound bytes. How OtterBox saved The Ocean Doctor’s Gulf sampling program on Tools of the Trade.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

Like the show? Learn how to become a sponsor. [Read more...]

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