I think these two stories are related, because acid eats away at calcium, which is what coral is made of
By Brian Kahn, Climate Central
The depressing task of monitoring ocean acidification just got a little easier. A collection of scientists from Europe, the U.S. and India have developed a technique that could provide the first global and nearly real-time assessment of our rapidly acidifying seas.
Oceans are taking in about 90 percent of the excess heat created by human greenhouse gas emissions, but they’re also absorbing some of the carbon dioxide (CO2) itself. According to the European Space Agency, the world’s oceans take in about a quarter of all human CO2 emissions.
A set of chemical processes dissolves that CO2 and turns it into carbonic acid and sets off complex changes to the chemistry of seawater, which dissolves shells and coral and creates a cascade effect that could disrupt entire marine ecosystems.
Scientists say a dramatic worldwide coral bleaching event is now underway
By Chris Mooney
For just the third time on record, scientists say they are now watching the unfolding of a massive worldwide coral bleaching event, spanning the globe from Hawaii to the Indian Ocean. And they fear that thanks to warm sea temperatures, the ultimate result could be the loss of more than 12,000 square kilometers, or over 4,500 square miles, of coral this year — with particularly strong impacts in Hawaii and other U.S. tropical regions, and potentially continuing into 2016.
The event is being brought on by a combination of global warming, a very strong El Nino event, and the so-called warm “blob” in the Pacific Ocean, say the researchers, part of a consortium including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as XL Catlin Seaview Survey, The University of Queensland in Australia, and Reef Check.
“This is only the third time we’ve seen what we would refer to as a global bleaching event, an event that causes mass bleaching in the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Atlantic-Caribbean basin,” said Mark Eakin, who heads NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch. The prior events, Eakin continues, “were in 1998 and 2010, and those were pretty much one year events. We’re looking at a similar spatial scale of bleaching across the globe, but spanning across at least 2 years. So that means a lot of these corals are being put under really prolonged stress, or are being hit 2 years in a row.”
One of the largest remaining chunks of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge is coming down tomorrow, as engineers continue to dismantle the aging piece of infrastructure. But how to protect the fish and other wildlife in the area as it gets taken down? By blowing bubbles.
The implosion of the large pier, named E3, has been delayed for months due to environmental concerns. After scientists were worried about the many birds which live in the old spans and piers, a November date was finally decided upon because it would be the least disruptive when it came to migration and mating. The blast will happen at slack tide so fewer creatures will be in the water. But there are a few other tech tricks in place to keep animals far away from the explosion.
more cool stuff at the link