Scientists have discovered that increased levels of ocean acidity and carbon dioxide concentrations have resulted in unexpected changes in oceanic chemical processes. Their research results are published in the March 7, 2007, issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Oliver Wingenter of New Mexico Tech and his colleagues conducted a month-long field experiment. The researchers simulated present-day carbon dioxide concentrations and ocean acidity, and carbon dioxide levels expected at the end of this century and the middle of the next one. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), New Mexico Tech and the Comer Foundation, sheds light on how chemical processes that occur throughout the world's oceans help regulate Earth's climate.
Other recent scientific studies have shown that ocean acidity is rising 100 times faster than ever before, Wingenter said, but this study links the effect of increasing ocean acidity to changes in phytoplankton, which themselves produce "greenhouse gases."
"Pronounced changes in some phytoplankton have been observed during previous experiments," said Wingenter. "The consequences for marine organisms, their ecosystems and climate-relevant gases are unknown."
During the study, concentrations of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and chloroiodomethane, produced by phytoplankton in ocean water, were measured.
"In the atmosphere, DMS is rapidly oxidized to sulfur dioxide, which can form sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere," said Wingenter. These aerosols can act as nuclei for cloud formation. Increased cloudiness could block sunlight, thereby cooling Earth. "Therefore, additional DMS production in a higher carbon dioxide environment may help contribute to self-regulation of Earth's climate."
"The bottom line is that carbon dioxide-loading of the atmosphere could lead to environmental changes we have not even begun to think about, effects beyond acidification of surface seawater and greenhouse warming," said Donald Rice, director of NSF's Chemical Oceanography Program.
Combining future experimental and modeling efforts will lead to a better understanding of the feedback systems between the atmosphere and ocean, believes Wingenter. "To predict future climate more accurately, it's critical that we understand the outcome of increasing ocean acidification and increasing carbon dioxide levels."
Cheryl Dybas | EurekAlert!
New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources
29.05.2017 | DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)
Copper hydroxide nanoparticles provide protection against toxic oxygen radicals in cigarette smoke
29.05.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy