When Exposed To Natural, Long-Term Extreme ‘Ocean Acidification’, Coral And Urchin ‘Persist’ And Even ‘Thrive’

Marine species subjected to high CO2 extremes – 8,891 to 95,000 ppm – in their natural environments may not be adversely affected. They may even “thrive”.

Earlier this year we highlighted a study that says coral reefs “thrive” near seafloor volcanic vents where CO2 concentrations reach 60,000 to 95,000 ppm.

Image Source: PHYS.ORG

Urchins basking in volcanic vent streams of 8,891 ppm CO2 and daily CO2 variations of more than 2,000 ppm as well as day-to-day pH fluctuations ranging from 6.9 (“acidification”) to 8.1…grow more than two times faster than nearby control (stable 394 ppm CO2, 8.1 pH) urchins (Uthicke et al., 2016).

Image Source: Uthicke et al., 2016

According to a new study, corals “were observed to persist within acidified [<7 U] waters”, with pH lows reaching as low as 6.5 (Enochs et al., 2020). This effectively means corals can endure any doomsday “ocean acidification” scenario allegedly linked to human fossil fuel burning.

Enochs et al., 2020

“Herein, we have characterized an area of volcanic acidification at Mayreau Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Despite localized CO2 enrichment and gas venting, the surrounding area has high hard and soft coral cover, as well as extensive carbonate frameworks. Twice daily extremes in acidification [with pH levels as low as 6.540], in some cases leading to undersaturation of aragonite, are correlated with tidal fluctuations and are likely related to water flow. Corals persisting despite this periodic acidification can provide insights into mechanisms of resilience and the importance of natural pH variability on coral reefs.”
“To date, natural acidification hotspots have been identified corresponding to upwelling (Manzello 2010), submarine groundwater discharge (Crook et al. 2013), and biological activity (Shamberger et al. 2014), as well as volcanic CO2 seeps.”
“At Mayreau, as with the sites in New Caledonia, corals were observed to persist within acidified waters, potentially indicating mechanisms of resilience to extreme acidification stress.”

10 responses to “When Exposed To Natural, Long-Term Extreme ‘Ocean Acidification’, Coral And Urchin ‘Persist’ And Even ‘Thrive’”

  1. When Exposed To Natural, Long-Term 'Extreme' Ocean Acidification Coral And Urchin 'Persist' And Even 'Thrive'Climate- Science.press | Climate- Science.press

    […] When Exposed To Natural, Long-Term ‘Extreme’ Ocean Acidification Coral And Urchin ‘Persist’ … […]

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    Same in atoll lagoons like in New Caledonia.

    Emma Camp, from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia, and colleagues found water in the semi-enclosed lagoon system was hot, acidic and lacking in oxygen when compared to neighboring reefs. Yet its coral communities was surprisingly rich—there were 20 species covering up to 35 percent of the lagoon site.

    Which is not surprising seeing that corals produce millions of progeny each year. So natural selection and adaptation are rapid, as the more fit juvenile corals survive and colonize the places where less tolerant corals died.

  3. Graeme No.3

    There was also a case off New Ireland where life was booming centimetres from a CO2 vent hole in the coral reef.
    Not a scientific paper but they measured the pH. Was recorded on http://www.co2science.org/

  4. Yonason

    Please see…
    “Evidence? Who needs evidence?” …
    which is the first article here:

    For some reason the shells of the giant shellfish that thrive in acidic regions of the ocean floor near undersea vents refuse to dissolve, as required by hysterical warmists.

  5. tom0mason

    Darwin would have been pleased with yet another piece of evidence showing that nature can take care of itself.
    Evidence that in this area coral reef species have migrated to find the natural resources which ensure all these species can survive in abundance.

  6. Yonason

    I wonder when they’ll discover that corals themselves “acidify” the ocean. Will they then, as a couple of commenters (Petit… and Svend…) have written, demand destruction of reefs?

    I wouldn’t put it past them.

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  9. salah bela

    شكرا علىالموضوع

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