Washington, D.C.— A team of Carnegie scientists have found “beautifully preserved” 15 million-year-old thin protein sheets in fossil shells from southern Maryland. Their findings are published in the inaugural issue of Geochemical Perspectives Letters. (more…)
Tag Archives: calcium carbonate
Geologist Adam Wallace reports in ‘Science’ that calcium carbonate has a dense liquid phase
Computer simulations could help scientists make sense of a recently observed and puzzling wrinkle in one of nature’s most important chemical processes. It turns out that calcium carbonate — the ubiquitous compound that is a major component of seashells, limestone, concrete, antacids and other naturally and industrially produced substances — may momentarily exist in liquid form as it crystallizes from solution.
“Our simulations suggest the existence of a dense liquid form of calcium carbonate,” said co-corresponding author Adam Wallace, an assistant professor of geological sciences in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment who conducted the research while a postdoctoral researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “This is important because it is an as-yet unappreciated component of the carbon cycle.” (more…)
Finds surprising growth patterns in the Florida Keys
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A new more sensitive weight-based approach for monitoring coral growth in the wild has been developed by U.S. Geological Survey researchers leading to more definitive answers about the status of coral reefs.
Corals and other marine organisms build their skeletons and shells through calcification, the biological process of secreting calcium carbonate obtained from ocean water. This new approach to measuring corals can provide finer-scale resolution than traditional linear measurements of coral growth. (more…)
New study reveals more acid seas could alter early development of Atlantic longfin squid
Acidifying oceans could dramatically impact the world’s squid species, according to a new study led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers and just published online in the journal PLOS ONE. Because squid are both ecologically and commercially important, that impact may have far-reaching effects on the ocean environment and coastal economies, the researchers report.
“Squid are at the center of the ocean ecosystem—nearly all animals are eating or eaten by squid,” says WHOI biologist T. Aran Mooney, a co-author of the study. “So if anything happens to these guys, it has repercussions down the food chain and up the food chain.” (more…)
The widespread disappearance of stromatolites, the earliest visible manifestation of life on Earth, may have been driven by single-celled organisms called foraminifera.
The findings, by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI); Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of Connecticut; Harvard Medical School; and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, were published online the week of May 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (more…)
Temperatures in central China are 10 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit hotter today than they were 20,000 years ago, during the last ice age, UCLA researchers report — an increase two to four times greater than many scientists previously thought.
The findings, published on May 14, 2013, in the early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help researchers develop more accurate models of past climate change and better predict such changes in the future. (more…)
Scientists are setting sail on August 25 to study ocean acidification in the Arctic and what this means for the future survival of marine and terrestrial organisms.
The Arctic Ocean is one of the most vulnerable places on the planet for acidification, yet it is the least-explored ocean. Acidification can disturb the balance of marine life in the world’s oceans, and consequently affect humans and animals that rely on those food resources.
Ocean acidification is particularly harmful to organisms such as corals, oysters, crabs, shrimp and plankton, as well as those up and down the food chain. Higher acidity decreases an organism’s calcification rate, meaning they lose their ability to build shells or skeletons. (more…)
Nearly one-third of CO2 emissions due to human activities enters the world’s oceans. By reacting with seawater, CO2 increases the water’s acidity, which may significantly reduce the calcification rate of such marine organisms as corals and mollusks, resulting in the potential loss of ecosystems. The extent to which human activities have raised the surface level of acidity, however, has been difficult to detect on regional scales because it varies naturally from one season and one year to the next, and between regions, and direct observations go back only 30 years.
By combining computer modeling with observations, an international team of scientists concluded that anthropogenic CO2 emissions, resulting from the influence of human beings, over the last 100 to 200 years have already raised ocean acidity far beyond the range of natural variations. The study is published in the January 22, 2012 online issue of Nature Climate Change. (more…)