Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Employ New Tool to Assess Potential for Ecosystem Damage

05.08.2008
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego marine chemist Andrew Dickson plans to purchase and deploy an autonomous buoy-mounted sensor to study the effect increasingly acidic ocean water could be having on ecosystems in the California Current.

Dickson is collaborating with Montana-based developers of the sensor, who received a $980,000 federal grant in June to further its development. Recently published findings by other researchers have indicated a disturbing upwelling of acidic waters into coastal regions that support sea urchins, abalone and other marine invertebrates whose ability to form shells could be impaired by the corrosive water. Dickson said recent discoveries like that underscore the need for more detailed measurements.

"If the instrument works as we hope, it will be a valuable tool that will enable us to characterize the extent and intensity of incursions of these high-CO2 waters onto the California shelf and better understand the stresses ecosystems are under," said Dickson.

The device, known as a Submersible Autonomous Moored Instrument, is mounted onto buoys and suspended at a depth of up to several hundred meters, where it measures pH for long periods of time. The Missoula, Montana firm Sunburst Sensors and University of Montana researcher Mike DeGrandpre developed the instrument, with input from other researchers including Dickson, who helped them run tests on the instrument at Scripps and who is working with them to improve the instrument.

"By observing pH over long time periods, ocean scientists will be able to determine the processes that control seawater pH, its natural range of variability, and how pH is changing as CO2 is absorbed by the oceans," DeGrandpre said.

Dickson said he plans to deploy his new instrument for initial testing in Southern California waters within the next six months and then hopes to install it on a research buoy near the California/Oregon border in a proposed collaboration headed by Cal State University San Marcos researcher Victoria Fabry.

In May, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory researcher Richard Feely reported in the journal Science that upwelling ocean water along the California coast is already contaminated with anthropogenic CO2 in addition to the CO2 that accumulates in such subsurface waters from normal biological activity. The resulting enhanced acidity could be problematic, but there is still much to be understood, said Dickson.

"What's the intensity and frequency of these events? Is it a few days now and then or do acidic conditions persist over a protracted period of time?" said Dickson. "We fear that these intermittent acidic conditions could pose severe problems for organisms and their associated ecosystems, but — as yet — we just don't know."

Robert Monroe | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics

06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration

06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>