Ocean acidification is not a big problem

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Ocean acidification is not a big problem

Post by plodder » Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:57 am

new study: https://mobile.twitter.com/biolumiJEFFe ... 3932409856

suggests significant publication bias and not a lot of decent evidence

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Re: Ocean acidification is not a big problem

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:49 am

...for fish behaviour.

People are a lot more worried about the impacts on calcifying organisms like coral, krill, copepods, pteropods etc. which form the basis of marine ecosystems and, in the case of coral, also construct the physical habitat (and which, in the case of coral, are also routinely getting bleached because of heat stress caused by anthropogenic climate change).

Haven't read the paper. Whether or not it's accurate, ocean acidification is a big problem.
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Re: Ocean acidification is not a big problem

Post by Fishnut » Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:00 pm

From reading the intro to the preprint it seems that research on coral reef fishes has attracted significant media attention (which, if isn't called the Finding Nemo effect really should be) and some dramatic results found that fish behaviour was impacted by OA, which have failed to be replicated.

I think it's probably important to note that the researchers aren't saying that OA isn't a big problem. It is, it's just that fish are not being significantly affected (yet?). My understanding is similar to that of BoaF - that the direct impacts were primarily lower down the food chain, on invertebrates such as molluscs, echinoderms and corals, and calcium carbonate-enclosed phytoplankton such as coccolithophores and foraminifera. Unfortunately the paper doesn't discuss the proposed mechanism for how OA affects fish behaviour and I can't be bothered to go searching through the literature. I've seen suggestions that otolith growth is affected by OA (they are calcium carbonate structures in the semi-circular canals of fishes that assist with balance and hearing) which may potentially impact behaviour and I'm sure there's other stuff related to nerve and brain chemistry etc that's way beyond my comprehension.

The paper looks interesting and seems to be a good example of how low sample sizes and a popular area of research lead to poor quality research. But I don't think it is saying anything as dramatic or sweeping as "ocean acidification is not a big problem". Certainly the lead author agrees that OA affects marine animals

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