Global Change Biology (2011) 17, 3254–3262, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02473.x
Much research has been done to show that calcifiers are affected by ocean acidification; however, only few explain the specific effects that ocean acidification has on specific calcifiers. With this said, some calcifying organisms may be more or less affected by ocean acidification than others. The study by Catriona L. Hurd, at University of Otego in Dunedin, New Zealand, and his colleagues suggest that calcifiers have fundamentally different species-specific traits that must be considered when looking at the influence that ocean acidification has on the species. For instance, the site of calcification may differ according to the organism. In further explanation, some species, like abalone, may calcify internally. Hurd’s results predict that the calcification of such a species may not be directly effected by a reduced pH. Another species-specific characteristic is that of the outer surface of calcifying gastropods and bivalves is covered by a ‘protective’ organic layer. Hurd’s results show that this characteristic can also determine how ocean acidification may affect the species. Hurd concludes that predicting species-specific responses and subsequent ecosystem restructuring to ocean acidification is complex and requires a holistic, eco-mechanical, approach.
Research and analysis done by Lars Rose from the National Research Council Canada suggests that in order for alternative energy resources to gain widespread employment, there needs to be a significant reduction in its costs. The application of energy alternatives are much more costly than that of fossil fuels. As a result, in an effort to save money, industries continue with their current energy habits. If new innovations and technologies exceed current prices, no competitive industry will want to pursue them. Rose states that once this technology falls below current prices, there will be an increase in its utilization. In order to reduce such costs, research and development must be encouraged and facilitated by the government through establishing laws that create competitive advantages for alternative energy systems, offering start-up incentives and encouraging conferences for companies and investors to collaborate and build off of each other’s ideas.
Department of Materials Engineering, University of British Columbia. Surface Technologies 2006-Alternative Energies and Policy Options. Energy Policy. 2007 Elseiver Ltd. Pg. 6106-6111
Science New Series, Vol. 304, No. 5669, pp. 414-417 (2004)
Research by Ken Buesseler, John Andrews, Steven Pike, and Matthew Charette from the Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution suggests that iron fertilization could help reduce anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the ocean (though the reduction would be relatively small). Using Thorium 234 (a naturally occurring radionuclide) as a tracer, the researchers observed an increased flux of marine snow (falling organic matter/detritus composed mostly of dead plankton), in the Southern Ocean after injecting iron into the surface layer, demonstrating successful export of particulate organic carbon. Injecting iron into the ocean induces algal blooms (because iron is a limiting nutrient for phytoplankton), resulting in increased uptake of carbon dioxide by phytoplankton in the process of photosynthesis. This results in the increased amounts of marine snow, some of which falls all the way to the ocean floor; storing carbon dioxide in detritus at the bottom of the ocean is a potential method for counteracting ocean acidification.