Climate Change

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Larvae from psammechinus miliaris.jpg
The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been increasing since the start of the industrial revolution, the oceans have absorbed some of it, reducing oceanic pH and causing a shift in seawater carbonate chemistry. It is this disruption to the carbonate chemistry that raises much concern amongst marine biologists.

The organisms most at risk are marine calcifying organisms (i.e. molluscs, echinoderms, crustaceans) that mineralise carbonate and calcium ions to form calcium carbonate skeletal or shell structures. Research into the effects of ocean acidification is a recently developed field, as new findings are released, it is evident that many organisms are detrimentally effected by it. We still have much to learn about how the marine realm will be impacted by ocean acidification.

[edit] What are we doing on ocean acidification?

At Bangor we’re interested in how organisms respond to multiple stressors, the changing pH of seawater is one of several that we have the ability to investigate. Our experiments are long-term, and are essential to determine whether calcifying organisms can demonstrate acclimation to this rapidly changing environment. As part of Coleen’s research, she is investigating how sea urchins are impacted by ocean acidification, over very long time-scales.

[edit] For further information contact

Dr Coleen Suckling,
School of Ocean Sciences,
Bangor University,
Menai Bridge,
LL59 5AB,

coleen.suckling _at__ (change _at__ to @ symbol when emailing)

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