Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Study shows Ozone hole UV impacting marine life

by Ocean Institute University of Western Australia on 28 Jul 2012
Ozone hole - Ocean Institute University of Western Australia . ..
Ultraviolet radiation has caused a steep increase in deaths among marine animals and plants, according to an international team including scientists at the Oceans Institute of The University of Western Australia.

The team synthesised 1784 published experiments on marine organisms around the world to evaluate the magnitude of impacts caused by increased ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) in a study published today in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography. Until now, the role of UVB radiation as a possible cause of the global decline in the health of marine ecosystems had not been quantified.

The marine life most affected by UVB are protists (such as algae), corals, crustaceans and fish larvae and eggs, thereby affecting marine ecosystems from the bottom to the top of the food web.

Since the 1970s, a continuous emission of fluorocarbon compounds (CFCs) has led to the reduction of the stratospheric ozone layer and consequent elevated levels of UVB, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere.

Winthrop Professor Carlos Duarte, Director of the UWA Oceans Institute and co-author, said the impact of increased UVB radiation had not been fully addressed to date because of two key misconceptions - that the Montreal Protocol (first signed in 1987) 'fixed' the ozone layer and that UVB does not penetrate to significant depths in ocean waters.

'Whereas the Montreal Protocol was effective in preventing further deterioration of the ozone layer, this has not yet recovered, and now we know that damaging UVB radiation can penetrate to considerable depths in clear ocean waters,' Professor Duarte said.

Today's study builds on evidence of considerable impacts of UVB radiation on marine plankton and ocean processes. The research was coordinated by UWA Professor Susana Agustí.

'The effects of ultraviolet radiation detailed in this study mainly affect organisms growing near the ocean surface, such as eggs and larvae of invertebrates and fish, which are exposed to very high UVB levels,' Professor Agustí said.

'Our results provide evidence that marine organisms in the Southern Hemisphere are more resistant to elevated UVB radiation than those in the Northern Hemisphere, and that resistance of organisms in the Southern Hemisphere has increased over time. These observations suggest that high mortality of sensitive marine organisms in the Southern Hemisphere, where UVB levels have increased the most, has already selected for the more resistant organisms.

'The experiments included in this research involve organisms and species that have survived after the erosion of the ozone layer caused by CFCs. Therefore, the results suggest that an increase in UVB radiation could have a heavy impact on marine biota. A clear evidence of this impact is the reduction of mortality rates of up to 81 per cent when reducing exposure to UVB present in larvae of commercial fish such as cod, anchovies and other organisms.

'Our results strongly suggest that increased UVB radiation over the past four decades may be a hidden driver of the widespread decline of marine life, from corals to fish, often attributed to other pressures, such as climate warming, overfishing and other impacts.'

The Spanish National Research Council and the Catholic University of Chile were also involved in the research.

University of Western Australia website
Barz Optics - Kids rangeAncasta Ker 40+ 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Frigid flying – Coast Guard aircrews take on New England Winter
Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. At Air Station Cape Cod, aviation maintenance and electronic technicians work around the clock to ensure the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters are prepared and ready to launch. There is one thing the maintenance crews and pilots cannot control: winter weather.
Posted on 9 Feb
When whales meet sails
CAMPER helmsman Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermudez found himself nearly face to face with whale in middle of North Atlantic Ocean. Currently the database for marine mammal strikes is very sparse. We are requesting sailors and boaters help to submit information on current and past incidents, however long ago that may be. By giving a location, date, identification if possible, and any other relevant information you can help scientists better understand where marine mammals are at risk for strikes
Posted on 8 Jan
Vendée Globe – Uncertainty about weather condition in North Atlantic
Alex Thomson and Armel le Cléac'h are probably looking closely at the wind models for the North Atlantic. Alex Thomson and Armel le Cléac'h are probably looking closely at the wind models for the North Atlantic. It does not seem to be easy.
Posted on 4 Jan
10,000 metric tons of plastic enter Great Lakes every year
A new study inventories and tracks high concentrations of plastic in Great Lakes could help inform cleanup efforts A new study by Rochester Institute of Technology that inventories and tracks high concentrations of plastic in the Great Lakes could help inform cleanup efforts and target pollution prevention.Researchers found that nearly 10,000 metric tons—or 22 million pounds—of plastic debris enter the Great Lakes every year from the United States and Canada.
Posted on 2 Jan
The Deepwater Horizon aftermath
Researchers analyze 125 compounds from oil spilled in Gulf of Mexico to determine their longevity at different levels. Researchers analyze 125 compounds from oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico to determine their longevity at different contamination levels. The oil discharged into the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) rig in 2010 contaminated more than 1,000 square miles of seafloor.
Posted on 1 Jan
What happened to Deepwater Horizon Oil?
What happened to the 160 million gallons of oil that gushed for 87 days into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010? Six years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we are continually asked two questions. What happened to the 160 million gallons of oil that gushed for 87 days into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010? Was discharging 1.67 million gallons of chemicals into the ocean to disperse the oil a good or bad idea?
Posted on 24 Dec 2016
Vendée Globe – Light winds for Banque Populaire and Hugo Boss
The first one to get out of it will have a nice north-westerly flow on the edge of the high pressure system. Banque Populaire and Hugo Boss are sailing in a complex weather system in a light wind zone. The first one to get out of it will have a nice north-westerly flow on the edge of the high pressure system.
Posted on 15 Dec 2016
Great Barrier Reef managers and industry prepare for summer
Marine park managers, scientists and experts recently met for the annual pre-summer workshop Marine park managers, scientists and experts recently met for the annual pre-summer workshop to assess climate-related risks to the Great Barrier Reef over the coming months. Current predictions by the Bureau of Meteorology and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are for a summer of average sea temperatures across the Great Barrier Reef.
Posted on 7 Dec 2016
Fourth Blog from on board Perie Banou II
Oh no - not the coffee cup Oh no - not the coffee cup - Jon keeps us all entertained as he approaches Reunion Island. The B&G chartplotter tells me since leaving the pleasant mid Western Australian town of Carnarvon (by world standards, an isolated town), that I have sailed some 2559 NM and have 751nm to go to Le Port Reunion Island. French. Reunion is a Suburb (department) of Paris. Population 844,000.
Posted on 23 Nov 2016
Third Blog from onboard Perie Banou II
Wind over the last week has been quiet and mild - Trade Winds from South East and South South East. It is 0830am here. 1030 in Western Australia. Windy. Rather Windy. Wind over the last week has been quiet and mild - Trade Winds from South East and South South East. Barometer 1018 to 1020 whatever they are. Last night I tapped the barometer and it sorta went oops. 1015hPa. Blimey.
Posted on 18 Nov 2016