2011 May 30 Monday
Coccoliths Better Suited For Acidifying Oceans

An interesting article in Wired looks at research on the relative resistance of different types of plankton to increasing acidity caused by rising carbon dioxide dissolving into the oceans.

The results showed that coccoliths are indeed resistant to dissolution. Inorganic calcite crystals begin dissolving around pH 8.2, but the coccoliths remained intact until about pH 7.8.

Some marine plankton will run into trouble sooner. But the coccolithophores could survive until the end of the 21st century.

Some marine plankton and invertebrates build shells from aragonite — a form of calcium carbonate which dissolves more easily than calcite — and these organisms will be the first to feel the effect of increasing ocean acidity. Calcite-secreting organisms which aren’t as resistant as coccolithophores will be next. Near pH 7.8, coccolithophores — and any other groups that stabilize calcite similarly — will be in trouble as well.

We can prevent the melting of Antarctica and Greenland by doing climate engineering. But I've yet to hear a serious proposal for how to prevent high atmospheric CO2 from dissolving into the oceans and making them too acidic.

Given the still rapid rise in CO2 emissions the only hope for the phytoplankton might be a very early date for Peak Coal.

By Randall Parker    2011 May 30 11:37 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (17)
2011 January 16 Sunday
Organic Milk Against Global Warming

Who knew? What will organic apples do? Organic meat?

Wetter, cooler summers can have a detrimental effect on the milk we drink, according to new research published by Newcastle University.

Researchers found milk collected during a particularly poor UK summer and the following winter had significantly higher saturated fat content and far less beneficial fatty acids than in a more 'normal' year.

But they also discovered that switching to organic milk could help overcome these problems. Organic supermarket milk showed higher levels of nutritionally beneficial fatty acids compared with 'ordinary' milk regardless of the time of year or weather conditions.

In the comments if anyone takes this report seriously I will get very cross with you. Yes, it is a real research report.

By Randall Parker    2011 January 16 11:12 PM   Entry Permalink | Comments (14)
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