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Our Souring Seas: How Will Ocean Acidification Affect Phytoplankton and Marine Food Webs?

May 10

Our Souring Seas: How Will Ocean Acidification Affect Phytoplankton and Marine Food Webs?

Saturday, May 10, 2014 • 2:00 p.m.

Location:  Exploratorium, Pier 15, Bay Observatory Gallery

Admission:  Free with museum admission

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Melville, a Scripps Institution research vessel, will dock at the Exploratorium May 10–13 before embarking on a 25-day mission to study the effects of ocean acidification—the chemical changes caused by increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Join the mission’s chief scientist, Romberg Tiburon Center’s William Cochlan, to hear how his team will study the impact of acidification on tiny, plantlike organisms called phytoplankton, which are the foundation of all oceanic food webs.

Cochlan and his team will cruise from Monterey Bay to Seattle, gathering samples of phytoplankton. They’ll study the plankton’s growth rates and the kinds of fats they contain, and how those factors respond to the ocean’s acid content.

Photo: Ditylum brightwellii courtesy of M. DuBose, Romberg Tiburon Center.