Diving Deeper into Ocean Acidification

Diving Deeper into Ocean Acidification

Last Friday I went back to the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory to visit with Logan and her colleague Jesse Farmer who specializes in ocean acidification to further our discussions with carbon emissions and my favorite sea butterflies, the Pteropods.

I was able to clear up a misconception I had about coral bleaching. Coral reefs can bleach for multiple reasons, any stressor can trigger it. So it’s possible that it’s not just ocean warming, but some studies indicate that ocean acidification can cause it as well. This was a crucial point for my visuals!

We also talked about the visuals of the dissolving coral reefs. Logan painted a grim picture, and said it’s impossible not to feel sadness while looking at these beautiful structures whither away. She used the bowl in a china shop metaphor. She all described how like no two humans are alike, the same can be applied to different corals, even of the same species. Therefore, they all respond differently and break down at different rates.

We also discussed negative and positive feedback loops in the system.

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I also had sent Logan my Processing sketch from last week. She suggested I work on having addition things grow from the corals since they support so much life, and work with fading effects and lost of saturation. From the scientific standpoint, the coral disintegrating  process is much more complex. If coral were just calcite they would dissolve from the outside but because of their tissue on the outside and calcifying fluid between the tissue and calcite, this changes how they dissolve. In fact, much is still unknown about the actual process.

We also got to play with the super awesome microscope.

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Jesse and Logan setting up the microscope.

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The amazing microscope!

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Bamboo Coral

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More Bamboo Coral – they have rings similar to a tree

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Organic Coral

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A tiny little foram – they look like popcorn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The sediment where these organisms where extracted from was 6,700 years old!

 

 

 

 

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A collection of various creatures that became part of the ocean floor’s sediment – the swirly guy is foram, the history book of the ocean.

I’m also playing with manipulating videos and the ocean.

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More updates later!