Monday, June 05, 2006

Ocean acidification

I am writing a feature article for New Scientist about ocean acidification and coral reefs. Plenty has been written on this for non-specialist media, of course, (including this piece I commissioned over a year ago).

The aim for NS is to report on the most recent work and where scientists are going next. The article is also likely to include a precis of key points from the major papers over the last few years. I won't summarise any of it here, but will post a note on the article itself when it's available.

If you want to read something now, there is an entry on Wikipedia that looks as if it's put together by someone or two who know(s) what they're talking about. This links to a piece on RealClimate, which is accessible in a rough and ready way. If you want more detail, a good starting points is of course last June's Royal Society report. Also worth a look is this more recent paper for Ospar (hat tip Carol Turley). And if you have a recommendation or comment, please let me know!

The take home message, though, looks likely to remain that it will be "all over for [tropical] corals" (David Archer on RealClimate) thanks to higher temperatures long before acidity becomes a problem. The consequences for ecosystems at higher latitudes, however, could be "not necessarily to [their] advantage" (as the Emperor said in a different context) .

If all goes well with the article, a version will make its way into a chapter of the Coral Bones book.

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