Calcifying Coccolithophores off the California Coast
Grelaud, M., Schimmelmann, A. and Beaufort, L. 2009. Coccolithophore response to climate and surface hydrography in Santa Barbara Basin, California, AD 1917-2004. Biogeosciences 6: 2025-2039.
Based on their analysis, the three researchers report that "morphometric parameters measured on E. Huxleyi, G. muellerae and G. oceanica indicate increasing coccolithophore shell carbonate mass from ~1917 until 2004 concomitant with rising pCO2 and sea surface temperature in the region of the SBB." More specifically, they say that "a >33% increase in mean coccolith weight was determined for the order Isochrysidales over 87 years from ~1917 until 2004."Given these findings, Grelaud et al. write that "the last century has witnessed an increasing net influx of atmospheric carbon dioxide into the world's oceans, a rising of pCO2 of surface waters, and under-saturation with respect to aragonite, especially along the North American Pacific margin," which was the site of their study. These conditions, as they describe it, have been predicted by climate alarmists "to result in reduced coccolithophore carbonate mass and a concomitant decrease in size and weight of coccoliths [italics added]." As indicated by Grelaud et al.'s study, however, just the opposite appears to be the case in the real world, even in places where the predicted calcification reductions are expected to be greatest, as has also been demonstrated to be the case by the work of Iglesias-Rodriguez et al. (2008), who observed -- in the words of Grelaud et al. -- "a 40% increase in average coccolith weight across the last 220 years, as recorded in a box core from the subpoloar North Atlantic," and as has been further confirmed by the complimentary work of Halloran et al. (2008).
Halloran, P.R., Hall, I.R., Colmenero-Hidalgo, E. and Rickaby, R.E.M. 2008. Evidence for a multi-species coccolith volume change over the past two centuries: understanding a potential ocean acidification response. Biogeosciences 5: 1651-1655.
Iglesias-Rodriguez, M.D., Halloran, P.R., Rickaby, R.E.M., Hall, I.R., Colmenero-Hidalgo, E., Gittins, J.R., Green, D.R.H., Tyrrell, T., Gibbs, S.J., von Dassow, P., Rehm, E., Armbrust, E.V. and Boessenkool, K.P. 2008. Phytoplankton calcification in a high-CO2 world. Science 320: 336-340.