Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's not just temperature

Now we have a report that ocean acidification, the effect of absorbing increasing atmospheric CO2 on surface waters, will also affect nitrogen cycling in the oceans.

Very little is known about how ocean acidification may affect critical microbial groups like the ammonia oxidizers, "key players in the ocean's nitrogen cycle," says Michael Beman of the University of Hawaii and lead author of the PNAS paper.

In six experiments spread across two oceans, Beman and colleagues looked at the response of ammonia oxidation rates to ocean acidification.

In every case where the researchers experimentally increased the amount of acidity in ocean waters, ammonia oxidation rates decreased.

Ocean Acidification Changes Nitrogen Cycling In World Seas

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