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Posted Sun Nov 29 2009: from Environmental Research Web:
Arctic Ocean undersaturated for calcium carbonate
Shelled organisms in the Canada Basin region of the Arctic Ocean could be about to experience a double whammy. Not only did increased ice melt lead to the area's surface waters becoming undersaturated in 2008 for aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate vital for shell-building, but the retreat of sea ice away from the coast means that undersaturated waters from the depths can now upwell and affect organisms living on the sea floor of the Arctic continental shelf.... "This is the first evidence of omega aragonite undersaturation in deep basin surface waters," Fiona McLaughlin of the Institute of Ocean Sciences, Canada, told environmentalresearchweb. "In a 2009 publication models predicted that the surface waters might be undersaturated in the Arctic within a decade. We're making those observations now, because the ice has melted so fast. Essentially the papers are almost being written at the same time."... Because the Arctic food web is quite simple and short, it could be extremely vulnerable to such changes. But McLaughlin says that it takes time to see how populations are decreasing. "I think this has identified that we need to go out and make counts and do a time series so that we can see whether there are effects and what these organisms' tolerance is," she explained.
[Read more stories about: ocean acidification, arctic meltdown, ecosystem interrelationships]

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'Doc Michael says:
Aragonite is aragoing, aragoing.... Aragoodnight.

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