Taxonomy term

ocean chemistry

Congress, states look to address impacts of ocean acidification

Global ocean chemistry is changing at a historically unprecedented rate, with rising ocean acidity threatening populations of shellfish and other marine species worldwide. Recent observed changes in ocean chemistry off U.S. coasts, particularly along the shores of Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington, where fisheries are already being affected, have scientists studying the potential impacts, fishermen worrying about their livelihoods, and politicians pushing for action.

30 Nov 2018

Gulf Stream eddies transport iron to North Atlantic subtropical gyre

Dust from the Sahara Desert is a major supplier of iron to the North Atlantic subtropical gyre — the huge circular ocean current stretching between North America and the west coasts of Africa and Europe — where cyanobacteria use the scarce nutrient to fuel nitrogen fixation, which then fertilizes other organisms at the base of the marine food chain. Now, researchers have discovered that eddies spinning off the Gulf Stream also transport iron to the northwestern edge of the gyre.

22 Nov 2018

XPRIZE offers new ocean health awards

XPRIZE, the organization that used competition to propel the development of private space travel and super-efficient vehicles, is now making a commitment to improving ocean health.

31 Oct 2013

Shell-shocked: How different creatures deal with an acidifying ocean

To survive in the ocean, soft-bodied organisms must possess one of five traits: big teeth, toxic flesh, invisibility, quickness or a hard shell. Most marine organisms that employ the latter, called calcifiers, build their hard shells from the mineral calcium carbonate. However, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are making the oceans more acidic — which, in turn, is reducing the concentration of carbonate ions dissolved in seawater that organisms use to build their protective shells and skeletons.

10 Mar 2010

Fish guts can alter ocean's chemistry

The ocean’s surface waters contain many more microorganisms than fish — and so for years, the carbonate-shelled microorganisms were thought to be the main contributor to the carbonate chemistry in deep ocean waters. Now, new research suggests that the tiny pellets that most bony fish produce in their guts can affect the chemistry of the oceans.

22 Jan 2009