Coral is more resilient to acidifying oceans than we thought

But warming temperatures remain deadly

Coral is more resilient to acidifying oceans than we thought

Marine creatures, from spiky sea urchins and tiny phytoplankton to shelled mussels and bright coral, construct their shells or skeletons using the same mineral found in a Tums antacid tablet: calcium carbonate. Scientists have long assumed that these organisms, known as calcifiers, incorporate calcium carbonate into their bodies directly from the surrounding water.

Under this model, increasing carbon pollution would impact this process — more than a quarter of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed by the sea, making the ocean more acidic, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This chemical change puts calcium carbonate in short supply, limiting calcifiers’ ability to build their skeletons.

As we continue to dump greater quantities of carbon into Earth’s atmosphere and the oceans grow more acidic as a result, a better understanding of exactly how sea creatures develop could prove critical to predicting their fate in a changing environment.

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environment

Clean-up chemical at the BP Oil Spill tied to health problems

Clean-up chemical at the BP Oil Spill tied to health problems

Scientists link a chemical frequently used to disperse spilled oil to wheezing, rashes and burning eyes in the recovery workers following the country’s largest-ever spill.

Power plant coverts its carbon pollution to stone with new technology

But don’t consider the world saved just yet

environment

PODCAST: Old beef

PODCAST: Old beef

The science of aging meat

Lyme bacteria settled in North America far earlier than we thought

Insight into the disease’s ancient origins points toward the causes of the current epidemic

environment

PODCAST: In herbs we trust

PODCAST: In herbs we trust

Neglected by the health care system, many immigrants are finding relief in medicinal herbs

Why fentanyl is the deadliest opioid in the country

And why the trend refuses to stop

environment

Tiny solar flares may explain the sun’s ridiculously hot atmosphere

The layers of the sun

New evidence suggests tiny solar flares heat the sun’s atmosphere to thousands of times the temperature of its surface.

Tiny solar flares may explain the sun’s ridiculously hot atmosphere

New evidence suggests tiny solar flares heat the sun’s atmosphere to thousands of times the temperature of its surface.

social science

The frustrating quest to define consciousness

The frustrating quest to define consciousness

Never mind determining whether a robot can be conscious, we can’t even decide what the word means

Televised Debates: Insert Audience Response Here

The motivation for audiences to participate in presidential debates is more than just party fever