Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




WATER WORLD
Carbon-sequestering ocean plants may cope with climate changes over the long run
by Staff Writers
San Francisco CA (SPX) Sep 05, 2013


This is an image of the coccolithophore, Emiliania huxleyi, taken by lead author Ina Benner using the San Francisco State University FE-Scanning Electron Microscope. Credit: Ina Benner.

A year-long experiment on tiny ocean organisms called coccolithophores suggests that the single-celled algae may still be able to grow their calcified shells even as oceans grow warmer and more acidic in Earth's near future.

The study stands in contrast to earlier studies suggesting that coccolithophores would fail to build strong shells in acidic waters. The world's oceans are expected to become more acidic as human activities pump increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the Earth's atmosphere.

But after the researchers raised one strain of the Emiliania huxleyi coccolithorphore for over 700 generations, which took about 12 months, under high temperature and acidified conditions that are expected for the oceans 100 years from now, the organisms had no trouble producing their plated shells.

"At least in this experiment with one coccolithophore strain, when we combined higher levels of CO2 with higher temperatures, they actually did better in terms of calcification." said Jonathon Stillman, associate professor of biology at San Francisco State University, who along with Ed Carpenter, professor of biology, and Tomoko Komada, associate professor of chemistry, led a team of researchers at the University's Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies. The research was performed by postdoctoral scientist Ina Benner, masters students Rachel Diner and Dian Li and postdoctoral scientist Stephane Lefebvre.

Coccolithophores sequester oceanic carbon by incorporating it into their shells, which provide ballast to speed the sinking of carbon to the deep sea. These little organisms are central to the global carbon cycle, a role that could be disrupted if rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and warming temperatures interfere with their ability to grow their calcified shells.

In previous experiments, the same SF State researchers found that the same strain of coccolithophores grown for hundreds of generations under cool and acidified water conditions grew less shell than those growing under current ocean conditions.

In a short-term study by other researchers that examined the combined effects of higher temperatures and acidification, the same strain also had smaller shells under warmer and acidified conditions. However, results from this new long-term experiment suggest that this strain of coccolithophores may have the capacity to adapt to warmer and more acidic seas if given adequate time.

Stillman said the study underscores the importance of assessing multiple climactic factors and their impact on these organisms over a long time, to understand how they may cope with future oceanic environmental changes.

"We don't know why some strains might calcify more in the future, when others might calcify less," he said. Recent evidence indicates that the genetic diversity among coccolithophores in nature may hold part of the answer as to which strains and species might be "pre-adapted for future ocean conditions," Stillman added.

While these results indicate that coccolithophore calcification might increase under future ocean conditions, the researchers say that it's still unclear "whether, or how, such changes might affect carbon export to the deep sea."

The researchers received another surprise when they used recently developed genomic approaches to compare the expression of genes related to calcification in coccolithophores grown under current and future seawater conditions. "We really expected to see a lot of genes known to be involved in calcification to change significantly in the cells that thrived under high temperature and high acidity," Stillman said, "given their increased levels of calcification."

But the researchers found no significant changes in the expression of genes known to be involved in calcification from prior studies comparing strains with dramatically different calcification levels. It could be that these genes work as a sort of "on-off switch" for calcification, Stillman suggested. There may be other genes at work that control calcification in more subtle ways, affecting the degree of calcification.

The study by the RTC scientists was supported by the National Science Foundation and published in the August 26 issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

.


Related Links
San Francisco State University
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WATER WORLD
Sea level rise drives shoreline retreat in Hawaii
by Staff Writers
Manoa HI (SPX) Sep 05, 2013 Sea-level rise (SLR) has been isolated as a principal cause of coastal erosion in Hawaii. Differing rates of relative sea-level rise on the islands of Oahu and Maui, Hawaii remain as the best explanation for the difference in island-wide shoreline trends (that is, beach erosion or accretion) after examining other influences on shoreline change including waves, sedime ... read more


WATER WORLD
NASA Prepares for First Virginia Coast Launch to Moon

NASA Selects Launch Services Contract for OSIRIS-REx Mission

Environmental Controls Move Beyond Earth

Bad night's sleep? The moon could be to blame

WATER WORLD
We may all be Martians

Mars Curiosity Debuts Autonomous Navigation

Scouting a Boulder Field

ASA Mars Rover Views Eclipse of the Sun by Phobos

WATER WORLD
NASA awards nearly $1.5B in support contracts

NSBRI and NASA Reduce Space Radiation Risks by Soliciting for Center of Space Radiation Research

Next Generation of Explorers Takes the Stage

Has Voyager 1 Left The Solar System?

WATER WORLD
China to launch lunar lander by end of year: media

China launches three experimental satellites

Medical quarantine over for Shenzhou-10 astronauts

China's astronauts ready for longer missions

WATER WORLD
Cosmonauts Complete Spacewalk, Unfold Russian Flag in Space

Italian astronaut recounts spacewalk drowning terror

ISS Boosting Biological Research in Orbit

Japanese Cargo Craft Captured, Berthed to ISS

WATER WORLD
Ariane 5 build-up is completed for Arianespace upcoming flight with EUTELSAT

Russian rocket engine export ban could halt US space program

The go-ahead is given for Ariane 5 mission to orbit EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 and GSAT-7

Arianespace Launches EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 and GSAT 7

WATER WORLD
Waking up to a new year

Study: Planets might be 'born free' without a parent star

Distant planet sets speed record by orbiting its star every 8.5 hours

Kepler planet hunter spacecraft is beyond repair: NASA

WATER WORLD
Space Laser To Prove Increased Broadband Possible

Computer Simulations Indicate Calcium Carbonate Has a Dense Liquid Phase

Creating a Secure, Private Internet and Cloud at the Tactical Edge

Sticking power of plant polyphenols used in new coatings




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement