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In The News
Ocean acidification: University of Washington's giant plastic bags help control research conditions
With oceans becoming more acidic worldwide, scientists are getting creative in designing experiments to study them. For example, one group at the University of Washington is using giant plastic bags to study ocean acidification.
Each bag holds about 3,000 liters of seawater and sits in a cylinder-like cage for stability. The group at UW, made up of professors and students, is controlling carbon dioxide levels in the bags over a nearly three-week period, during which they are looking at the effects of increased acidity on organisms living near the San Juan Islands.
“These mesocosms are a way to do a traditional experiment you might do in a lab or classroom,” said Jim Murray, professor of oceanography at the University of Washington.Read More
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists detected signs of ocean acidification in the waters that hold the vulnerable and valuable fisheries of the North Pacific off the coast of Alaska, but they only had a snapshot of the action.
“We know that in this place were important commercial and subsistence fisheries that could be at risk from ocean acidification,” said Jeremy Mathis, a NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory researcher and professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
To understand how ocean acidification affects the North Pacific, NOAA scientists created a mooring network that collects constant in situ data on parameters contributing to acidification. They hope it will reveal seasonal trends and patterns left out by their snapshots.Read More
Recent research from a University of Guelph (U of G) team reveals that warmer temperatures caused by climate change are forcing species to alter their behavior, causing food webs in Ontario lakes to transform. As temperatures warm, larger species hunt new prey in deeper waters, changing the ways nutrients and energy flow in lakes and triggering a “rewiring” of food webs.
Dr. Timothy Bartley , study lead author and a post-doctoral researcher in the U of G's Department of Integrative Biology , spoke to EM about the work .
“I got started on this when I first began graduate school and joined an ongoing project, which was a collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry ,” explains Dr. Bartley.Read More