Thongchai Thailand

AN OCEAN ACIDIFICATION NIGHTMARE

Posted on: February 27, 2020

 

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Updated: 3/21/2020 4:30pm Thai time (typo corrections)

THIS POST IS A PRESENTATION OF HYDROTHERMAL VENT ECOSYSTEMS IN WHICH SHELLFISH AND VARIOUS OTHER CARBON LIFE FORMS THRIVE IN A CARBON DIOXIDE RICH ENVIRONMENT OF THE OCEAN SUBJECT TO AN EXTREME FORM OF OCEAN ACIDIFICATION AS DESCRIBED BY CLIMATE SCIENCE IN THE CONTEXT OF AGW CLIMATE CHANGE  [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK]  AND ALSO IN TERMS OF PRIOR EVENTS OF THIS NATURE IN THE PALEO RECORD [LINK] .

BRIEFLY, EVEN AS WE WORRY ABOUT HUMANS ACIDIFYING THE OCEAN FROM ABOVE WITH THE 0.2% OF THE PLANET’S CARBON ON THE CRUST OF THE PLANET WHERE WE LIVE AND WHERE WE HAVE CLIMATE, THE MIDDLE OF THE PLANET, WHERE THERE IS NO CLIMATE, IS HOLDING THE OTHER 99.8% OF THE PLANET’S CARBON AND IS ABLE TO ACIDIFY THE OCEAN FROM BELOW JUST AS IT HAD DONE IN THE PETM [LINK] HORROR

 

 

WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION VENT CHEMISTRY IMAGES [LINK]  

WOODS HOLE IMAGE#1: SOLAR AND  VENT LIFE SYSTEMS COMPARED

bandicam 2020-03-21 09-43-25-290

 

WOODS HOLE IMAGE#2: GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION OF HYDROTHERMAL VENTS

bandicam 2020-03-21 09-47-06-743

 

WOODS HOLE IMAGE#3: VENT CHEMISTRY

bandicam 2020-03-21 09-56-05-397

 

WOODS HOLE IMAGE#4: VENT LIFE FORMS

bandicam 2020-03-21 10-09-47-758

 

 

  1. HYDROTHERMAL VENTS: In places where the earth’s lithosphere is rifting, deep rift valleys can form that provide a leakage between the mantle and the ocean floor where heat, carbon, and minerals can seep out from the outer mantle and into the ocean floor to heat ocean bottom water to up to 400C and form hydrothermal vents.
  2. VENT ECO SYSTEMS: The nutrient rich minerals along with carbon, heat energy, and water in the bottom of the ocean provide an alternative to the origin of carbon life forms on the surface based on solar energy. Down on the ocean floor carbon life forms are created in the absence of sunlight with the combination of carbon, heat, and nutrients from the mantle able to create a parallel alternate life system on earth. This is how hydrothermal vents create an alternate ecosystem on the ocean floor and why they are found to be teeming with life in the dark.
  3. VENT CHEMISTRY#1: The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, one of the few academic research organizations relatively unaffected by the climate change research agenda, maintains an informative online document on the chemistry of hydrothermal vent waters [LINK] . It is a useful resource in the study of hydrothermal vents. It is used here in conjunction with the literature (bibliography below) to study vent chemistry and vent ecosystems in the context of the climate change alarm of the destruction of ocean ecosystems by acidification of the oceans with fossil fuel emissions  [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK].  
  4. VENT CHEMISTRY#2: (i) Cold seawater sinks through cracks in the crust where it loses its oxygen, potassium, magnesium, and calcium sulfate and gains sodium, calcium, and potassium from below. As the temperature rises to above 400C, copper, zinc, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide dissolve into the fluid that can no longer be called water or liquid. The chemical reactions have formed a whole new kind of fluid. As the magma heats this fluid, it rises up through the the cracks of the crust into the ocean floor where it mixes with cold sea water rich in oxygen causing zinc, copper, and magnesium to react with sulfur to form sulfides. The temperature drops to below 400C rich in dissolved chemicals where microbes thrive.
  5. VENT ECOSYSTEMS: Vent ecosystems consist of Clams, Mussels, Crabs, Shrimp, Octopus, Tubeworms, Zoarcid Fish, Microbes, Dandelion, and species not known to us and not yet studied. Tubeworms are worms that build themselves a tube to live in. Zoarcid Fish are large fish that hunt for food in the vent ecosystem of which they prefer tubeworms and shrimp. Vent ecosystems are their hunting grounds.
  6. PHOTOSYNTHESIS VERSUS CHEMOSYNTHESIS:  Photosynthesis of carbon lifeforms on the surface uses sunlight as the energy source. Plant leaves capture the sun’s energy and carbon dioxide from the surrounding air and converts carbon dioxide into sugars releasing oxygen into the air. Chemosynthesis in the ocean floor, where there is no sunlight, uses hydrogen sulfide. The microbes consume hydrogen sulfide, oxygen, and carbon dioxide to generate their energy and sustain their life processes and produce sulfur, oxygen, and water. This process is the analog of photosynthesis on the surface.
  7. OCEAN ACIDIFICATION#1: In related posts [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] it is shown that there is a significant concern in climate change science that some of the fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy (estimated to be 20% to 30%) , is absorbed by the ocean and it is feared that the “ocean acidification” thus caused will devastate oceanic ecosystems. However, this concern seems inconsistent with mass balance analyses that show that the rate of fossil fuel emissions is insignificant in the context of ocean acidification [LINK] and in comparison with the estimate of the volume of hydrothermal flows in the ocean itself that exceed fossil fuel emissions by orders of magnitude  (Stott 2019). As well, the primary concern in the fossil fuel driven ocean acidification research agenda of climate science is the harm it will do to ocean creatures that are described for example in terms of causing the shells of shellfish to dissolve with the further concern that the accumulation of this debris on the ocean floor may damage the ocean floor and cause feedback carbon flows from the ocean floor to the atmosphere [LINK] . These concerns seem grossly inconsistent with the thriving ecosystems of shellfish and various other life forms in hydrothermal vent ecosystems and the grossly overestimated ability of fossil fuel emissions to acidify the ocean in the context of much higher flows of magmatic carbon in the ocean.
  8. OCEAN ACIDIFICATION#2:  In Stott etal 2019 {Hydrothermal carbon release to the ocean and atmosphere from the eastern equatorial Pacific during the last glacial termination Lowell D Stott, Kathleen M Harazin, Nadine B Quintana Krupinski, Environmental Research Letters 14(2019)025007}, the authors used paleoclimate proxies from the deep ocean to determine that the amount of carbon from the mantle that enters the ocean through hydrothermal vents is extremely large such that the prior deglaciation transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene more than 12,000 years ago can be explained by the greenhouse effect of the portion of the ocean’s CO2 content that had been released to the atmosphere. The abstract appears below. the full text of the paper in pdf format is posted here stott2019pdf
  9. MASS IMBALANCE: As in the PETM [LINK] , what we see here is that it is not the atmosphere that is acidifying the ocean but the ocean that is acidifying the atmosphere. The total mass of the ocean and atmosphere taken together is 1.36E18 metric tonnes of which the atmosphere is 0.38% and the ocean 99.62%. The insistence of climate science that the atmosphere tail wags the ocean dog in terms of heat and carbon dioxide content is not credible in many different ways.
  10. STOTT(2019): ABSTRACT: Among the most globally significant climate change events are the glacial terminations into interglacials. With the acquisition and analysis of marine and continental records, including ice cores, it is now clear that the Earth’s climate was responding profoundly to changes in greenhouse gases that accompanied those glacial terminations. But the ultimate forcing responsible for the greenhouse gas variability remains elusive. The oceans must play a central role in any hypothesis that attempt to explain the systematic variations in pCO2 because the Ocean is a giant carbon capacitor, regulating carbon entering and leaving the atmosphere. For a long time, geological processes that generate fluxes of carbon to and from the oceans were thought to operate too slowly to account for any of the systematic variations in atmospheric pCO2 that accompanied glacial cycles during the Pleistocene. Here we investigate the role that Earth’s hydrothermal vents played in affecting the flux of carbon to the ocean and ultimately, the atmosphere during the last glacial termination. We document late glacial and deglacial intervals of anomalously old 14C reservoir ages, large benthic-planktic foraminifera 14C age differences, and increased deposition of hydrothermal metals in marine sediments from the eastern equatorial Pacific (EEP)that indicate a significant release of hydrothermal vent fluids entered the ocean at the last glacial termination. The large 14C anomaly was accompanied by a∼4-fold increase in Zn/Ca in both benthic and planktic foraminifera that reflects an increase in dissolved [Zn]throughout the water column. Foraminiferal B/Ca and Li/Ca results from these sites document deglacial declines in [ – CO3 2 ]throughout the water column; these were accompanied by carbonate dissolution at water depths that today lie well above the calcite lysocline. Taken together, these results are strong evidence for an increased flux of hydrothermal vent derived carbon through the EEP upwelling system at the last glacial termination that would have exchanged with the atmosphere and affected both Δ14C and pCO2. These data do not quantify the amount of carbon released to the atmosphere through the EEP upwelling system but indicate that geologic forcing must be incorporated into models that attempt to simulate the cyclic nature of glacial/interglacial climate variability. Importantly, these results underscore the need to put better constraints on the flux of carbon from geologic reservoirs that affect the global carbon budget.
  11. PALEOCENE-EOCENE THERMAL MAXIMUM: In a related post  [LINK] significant evidence is presented from the literature that the horrific events of the PETM climate event about 55 million years ago were driven by magmatic carbon from beneath the ocean. In that event a catastrophic carbon oxidation event in the ocean at once depleted the ocean’s oxygen, warmed the ocean, caused a mass extinction in the ocean, and raised atmospheric CO2 levels by 70% from the oxidation effluent released to the atmosphere. The PETM event underscores the importance of magmatic carbon flows from hydrothermal vents into the ocean.

 

 

CONCLUSION

THE OCEAN ACIDIFICATION ALARM OF CLIMATE SCIENCE, THAT FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS WILL ACIDIFY THE OCEAN AND HARM OCEAN ECOSYSTEMS IS INCONSISTENT WITH A MASS BALANCE THAT SHOWS THAT FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS ARE RELATIVELY INSIGNIFICANT IN THAT CONTEXT PARTICULARLY SO IN VIEW OF MUCH LARGER NATURAL FLOWS OF MAGMATIC CARBON INTO THE OCEAN THROUGH HYDROTHERMAL VENTS AND SUBMARINE VOLCANISM.

IT IS ALSO NOTED THAT THE CONCERN IN CLIMATE SCIENCE OF THE HARM OF OCEAN ACIDIFICATION TO MARINE ECOSYSTEMS IN NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE DATA THAT SHOW FLOURISHING ECOSYSTEMS IN NATURAL OCEAN ACIDIFICATION ENVIRONMENTS.

IN TERMS OF THE FEAR OF CLIMATE SCIENTISTS THAT FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS WILL ACIDIFY THE OCEAN, WE PROPOSE THAT THIS CONCERN MUST BE SUPPORTED WITH A MASS BALANCE THAT SHOWS THE ABILITY OF FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS TO HARM THE OCEAN IN THE CONTEXT OF THE RELATIVELY MINUTE AMOUNT OF FOSSIL FUELS AVAILABLE AND OF MUCH LARGER NATURAL FLOWS.

 

 

 

THE RELEVANT BIBLIOGRAPHY 

  1. Levin, Lisa A., et al. “Hydrothermal vents and methane seeps: rethinking the sphere of influence.” Frontiers in Marine Science 3 (2016): 72.  Although initially viewed as oases within a barren deep ocean, hydrothermal vents and methane seep chemosynthetic communities are now recognized to interact with surrounding ecosystems on the sea floor and in the water column, and to affect global geochemical cycles. The importance of understanding these interactions is growing as the potential rises for disturbance of the systems from oil and gas extraction, seabed mining and bottom trawling. Here we synthesize current knowledge of the nature, extent and time and space scales of vent and seep interactions with background systems. We document an expanded footprint beyond the site of local venting or seepage with respect to elemental cycling and energy flux, habitat use, trophic interactions, and connectivity. Heat and energy are released, global biogeochemical and elemental cycles are modified, and particulates are transported widely in plumes. Hard and biotic substrates produced at vents and seeps are used by “benthic background” fauna for attachment substrata, shelter, and access to food via grazing or through position in the current, while particulates and fluid fluxes modify planktonic microbial communities. Chemosynthetic production provides nutrition to a host of benthic and planktonic heterotrophic background species through multiple horizontal and vertical transfer pathways assisted by flow, gamete release, animal movements, and succession, but these pathways remain poorly known. Shared species, genera and families indicate that ecological and evolutionary connectivity exists among vents, seeps, organic falls and background communities in the deep sea; the genetic linkages with inactive vents and seeps and background assemblages however, are practically unstudied. The waning of venting or seepage activity generates major transitions in space and time that create links to surrounding ecosystems, often with identifiable ecotones or successional stages. The nature of all these interactions is dependent on water depth, as well as regional oceanography and biodiversity. Many ecosystem services are associated with the interactions and transitions between chemosynthetic and background ecosystems, for example carbon cycling and sequestration, fisheries production, and a host of non-market and cultural services. The quantification of the sphere of influence of vents and seeps could be beneficial to better management of deep-sea environments in the face of growing industrialization.
  2. Reynolds, P., et al. “Hydrothermal vent complexes offshore Northeast Greenland: A potential role in driving the PETM.” Earth and Planetary Science Letters 467 (2017): 72-78Continental rifting is often associated with voluminous magmatism and perturbations in the Earth’s climate. In this study, we use 2D seismic data from the northeast Greenland margin to document two Paleogene-aged sill complexes ≥18000 and ≥10000 km2 in size. Intrusion of the sills resulted in the contact metamorphism of carbon-rich shales, producing thermogenic methane which was released via 52 newly discovered hydrothermal vent complexes, some of which reach up to 11 km in diameter. Mass balance calculations indicate that the volume of methane produced by these intrusive complexes is comparable to that required to have caused the negative δ13C isotope excursion associated with the PETM. Combined with data from the conjugate Norwegian margin, our study provides evidence for margin-scale, volcanically-induced greenhouse gas release during the late Paleocene/early Eocene. Given the abundance of similar-aged sill complexes in Upper Paleozoic–Mesozoic and Cretaceous–Tertiary basins elsewhere along the northeast Atlantic continental margin, our findings support a major role for volcanism in driving global climate change.
  3. Iyer, Karthik, Lars Rüpke, and Christophe Y. Galerne. “Modeling fluid flow in sedimentary basins with sill intrusions: Implications for hydrothermal venting and climate change.” Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 14.12 (2013): 5244-5262.  Large volumes of magma emplaced within sedimentary basins have been linked to multiple climate change events due to release of greenhouse gases such as CH4. Basin‐scale estimates of thermogenic methane generation show that this process alone could generate enough greenhouse gases to trigger global incidents. However, the rates at which these gases are transported and released into the atmosphere are quantitatively unknown. We use a 2D, hybrid FEM/FVM model that solves for fully compressible fluid flow to quantify the thermogenic release and transport of methane and to evaluate flow patterns within these systems. Our results show that the methane generation potential in systems with fluid flow does not significantly differ from that estimated in diffusive systems. The values diverge when vigorous convection occurs with a maximum variation of about 50%. The fluid migration pattern around a cooling, impermeable sill alone generates hydrothermal plumes without the need for other processes such as boiling and/or explosive degassing. These fluid pathways are rooted at the edges of the outer sills consistent with seismic imaging. Methane venting at the surface occurs in three distinct stages and can last for hundreds of thousands of years. Our simulations suggest that although the quantity of methane potentially generated within the contact aureole can cause catastrophic climate change, the rate at which this methane is released into the atmosphere is too slow to trigger, by itself, some of the negative δ13C excursions observed in the fossil record over short time scales (<10,000 years).
  4. Bell, James B., Clare Woulds, and Dick van Oevelen. “Hydrothermal activity, functional diversity and chemoautotrophy are major drivers of seafloor carbon cycling.” Scientific reports 7.1 (2017): 1-13.  Hydrothermal vents are highly dynamic ecosystems and are unusually energy rich in the deep-seaIn situ hydrothermal-based productivity combined with sinking photosynthetic organic matter in a soft-sediment setting creates geochemically diverse environments, which remain poorly studied. Here, we use comprehensive set of new and existing field observations to develop a quantitative ecosystem model of a deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystem from the most southerly hydrothermal vent system known. We find evidence of chemosynthetic production supplementing the metazoan food web both at vent sites and elsewhere in the Bransfield Strait. Endosymbiont-bearing fauna were very important in supporting the transfer of chemosynthetic carbon into the food web, particularly to higher trophic levels. Chemosynthetic production occurred at all sites to varying degrees but was generally only a small component of the total organic matter inputs to the food web, even in the most hydrothermally active areas, owing in part to a low and patchy density of vent-endemic fauna. Differences between relative abundance of faunal functional groups, resulting from environmental variability, were clear drivers of differences in biogeochemical cycling and resulted in substantially different carbon processing patterns between habitats.
  5. Campbell, Kathleen A. “Hydrocarbon seep and hydrothermal vent paleoenvironments and paleontology: Past developments and future research directions.” Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 232.2-4 (2006): 362-407. Hydrocarbon seeps and hydrothermal vents are now known to be common at continental margins and oceanic spreading centers worldwide, exuding fluids rich in CH4 and H2S, and teeming with life based on chemosynthesis. These settings have been implicated as the crucibles for life’s origin, and as locales for methane release to the atmosphere from hydrate destabilization during past climate change. Ancient vent and seep deposits are also increasingly recognized, and occur in various sizes, lithologies, biotic compositions, geotectonic settings and ages. Precambrian vents were populated with microbes, with the oldest metazoans in vent settings reported from possibly the Cambrian, but definitely by the Silurian. The oldest purported seep deposit with metazoan fossils is Silurian in age. A largely endemic and chemosymbiotic biota from modern vents and seeps appears distinct phylogenetically from those taxa of deposits older than Late Jurassic, with a shift from extant families of particular bivalves and gastropods to now-extinct family groups of brachiopods, monoplacophorans, bivalves and gastropods. An exception may be worm tubes of possible vestimentiferan origins, with a history in hydrothermal vent paleoenvironments extending back to the Early Paleozoic. Unfortunately their relatively simple morphology and particular style of preservation make comparisons with living groups a challenge. There may also be an ancient “lineage” of vent–seep restricted rhynchonellide brachiopods, which appears to have persisted in these settings from the Late Devonian through the Early Cretaceous. Because biotic components have changed in vent–seep settings through time, several lines of evidence must be marshaled to confirm the origin of suspected deposits in the geologic record. These include distinctive stable isotopic signatures of carbon, oxygen or sulfur in authigenic precipitates and/or tests of foraminiferans, certain mineral paragenetic sequences, and fluid-flow features. Lipid biomarkers also indicate biogeochemical cycling by Archaea and Bacteria, which performed sulfate-dependent, anaerobic oxidation of methane in ancient marine sediments. The origin of an endemic modern vent–seep biota has been attributed to either enhanced accumulation of Paleozoic and Mesozoic relics, or migration of various invertebrate groups into vent and seep environments during the Phanerozoic. Current databases from fossils and molecular characterization of living groups suggest that adaptive radiations and extinctions have occurred, with a range of lineage-ages represented. Fossil and molecular data broadly coincide with respect to the Cretaceous origination of vesicomyid bivalves and neomphaline gastropods in vents and seeps, but the data sets appear discordant at present for vestimentiferan tubeworms and bathymodiolin bivalves. Paleobiogeographic patterns are just beginning to emerge from studies of vent and seep fossils, and are likely to reflect past plate tectonic configurations, sea-level change, as well as the history of organic matter accumulation, burial, hydrocarbon generation, and fluid migration with time. Thus far, ancient hydrocarbon seep deposits yield more diverse fossils than hydrothermal vent deposits, the opposite of the global diversity recently tabulated for modern vent–seep species. However, in the fossil record, taphonomic processes negatively impacted on ancient vent organisms, and the number of known ancient vent systems is still relatively few compared to regional occurrences of ancient seep deposits. Future research will likely investigate many new/suspected sites, inventory numerous additional taxa, decipher underlying causes of variability among settings, and mobilize biologists and geologists to work together to solve problems that cross both disciplines.
  6. Smith, Craig R., et al. “Abyssal food limitation, ecosystem structure and climate change.” Trends in Ecology & Evolution 23.9 (2008): 518-528.  The abyssal seafloor covers more than 50% of the Earth and is postulated to be both a reservoir of biodiversity and a source of important ecosystem services. We show that ecosystem structure and function in the abyss are strongly modulated by the quantity and quality of detrital food material sinking from the surface ocean. Climate change and human activities (e.g. successful ocean fertilization) will alter patterns of sinking food flux to the deep ocean, substantially impacting the structure, function and biodiversity of abyssal ecosystems. Abyssal ecosystem response thus must be considered in assessments of the environmental impacts of global warming and ocean fertilization.
  7. Dahms, Hans-Uwe, et al. “Marine hydrothermal vents as templates for global change scenarios.” Hydrobiologia 818.1 (2018): 1-10.  Subsurface marine hydrothermal vents (HVs) may provide a particular advantage to better understand evolutionary conditions of the early earth and future climate predictions for marine life. Hydrothermal vents (HV) are unique extreme environments that share several similarities with projected global and climate change scenarios in marine systems (e.g., low pH due to high carbon dioxide and sulfite compounds, high temperature and turbidity, high loads of toxic chemicals such as H2S and trace metals). Particularly, shallow hydrothermal vents are easily accessible for short-term and long-term experiments. Research on organisms from shallow HVs may provide insights in the molecular, ecological, and evolutionary adaptations to extreme oceanic environments by comparing them with evolutionary related but less adapted biota. A shallow-water hydrothermal vent system at the northeast Taiwan coast has been intensively studied by several international research teams. These studies revealed astounding highlights at the levels of ecosystem (being fueled by photosynthesis and chemosynthesis), community (striking biodiversity changes due to mass mortality), population (retarded growth characteristics), individual (habitat attractive behavior), and molecular (adaptations to elevated concentrations of heavy metals, low pH, and elevated temperature). The present opinion paper evaluates the potential of shallow hydrothermal vents to be used as a templates for global change scenarios.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Responses to "AN OCEAN ACIDIFICATION NIGHTMARE"

Thanks for these challenging and interesting discussions.

SR

On Sat, Mar 21, 2020 at 3:32 AM Thongchai Thailand wrote:

> chaamjamal posted: ” [LINK TO THE HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE] RELATED > POSTS: [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] THIS POST IS A PRESENTATION OF > HYDROTHERMAL VENT ECOSYSTEMS IN WHICH SHELLFISH AND VARIOUS OTHER CARBON > LIFE FORMS THRIVE IN A CARBON DIOXIDE RICH ENVIRO” >

thank you for visiting sir.

corrected some typographical errors at 4:20pm march 21 thai time

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