Ocean Acidification Paper by Royer, Thomas Published in Science

Ellen Thomas examines a core of sediment from some 56 million years ago, when the oceans underwent acidification that could be an analog to ocean changes today. (Photo by Steve Schellenberg)

Dana Royer and Ellen Thomas are among the 21 authors of a review paper, “The Geological Record of Ocean Acidification,” published in Science, March 2012: Vol. 335, no. 6072, pages 1058-1063.

In the paper, the authors review events exhibiting evidence for elevated atmospheric CO2, global warming, and ocean acidification over the past 300 million years of Earth’s history, some with contemporaneous extinction or evolutionary turnover among marine calcifiers.

Ocean acidification may have severe consequences for marine ecosystems; however, assessing its future impact is difficult because laboratory experiments and field observations are limited by their reduced ecologic complexity and sample period, respectively.

Royer is an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, and Thomas is a research professor of earth and environmental sciences.

Science News and The Earth Institute at Columbia University published press releases on the study.

In addition, Thomas’s study titled, “Ocean Acidification – How will ongoing ocean acidification affect marine life?” appeared in a 2011 edition of PAGES, in a special volume with the title Paired Perspectives on Global Change.

The ocean acidification study was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.