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 Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>