Two lead scientists at the Moorea Coral Reef (MCR) Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site have been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study the effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs. Peter Edmunds and Robert Carpenter of California State University at Northridge will use the NSF SEES (Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability) Ocean Acidification grant to study the interplay between ocean acidification and other marine processes on coral reefs and other calcifying organisms.
According to scientists, as atmospheric carbon rises in response to human-caused carbon dioxide emissions, carbon in the ocean goes up in tandem, thus lowering the pH of the ocean waters and preventing marine life that depends on calcium carbonate from forming shells or skeletons in the case of coral reefs. The MCR study seeks to find out how fast and the specific mechanisms by which ocean acidification is affecting Moorea’s corals and calcified algae which, like other tropical corals around the world, face the threat of extinction.
Read more about this story in “Trouble in Paradise: Ocean Acidification This Way Comes,” NSF news release, January 4, 2012.