Author Archives: Maike Nicolai

Members of the BIOACID project will participate in the UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn in November 2017.

In November 2017, the German research network on ocean acidification BIOACID (Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification) reaches its conclusion after eight years of extensive interdisciplinary scientific activity. Experiments and analyses carried out by more than 250 scientists from 20 German institutions clearly indicate that ocean acidification and warming, along with other environmental stressors, impair life […]

The Integrated Assessment (IA) is an overarching activity, which involves all BIOACID principle investigators. Information exchange for the Integrated Assessment will be active throughout the duration of the project. It will be guided initially by the theme leaders, followed up by the Integrated Assessment task force, which will commence its work after twelve months into […]

Theme leaders: Felix Christopher Mark, AWI Stefan Gößling-Reisemann, Universität Bremen Theme members: Daniela Storch, AWI Catriona Clemmesen, GEOMAR Martin Quaas, CAU Felix Mark, AWI Silke Lischka, GEOMAR Hans-Otto Pörtner, AWI Stefan Gößling-Reisemann, Universität Bremen Marine ecosystems will be increasingly affected by the effects of ocean acidification and ocean warming, which can be exacerbated by further […]

Building on the knowledge and capacities of ocean acidification and warming effects on marine fish and invertebrates that were generated in BIOACID I and II, this theme sets out to integrate ecophysiological data across all levels of biological organisation (molecule – organism – population – ecosystem) for marine fish and invertebrates. In an integrative manner, […]

Theme leaders: Martin Wahl, GEOMAR, Ulf Karsten, Uni Rostock Theme members: Tal Dagan, CAU Thorsten Reusch, GEOMAR Birte Matthiessen, GEOMAR Helmut Hillebrand, Universität Oldenburg Frank Melzner, GEOMAR Ulf Gräwe, IOW Ulf Karsten, Universität Rostock Martin Wahl, GEOMAR Katrin Rehdanz, IfW Ocean acidification is still an ongoing problem and has been the major research focus in BIOACID I and […]

Current exhibition: There are no current exhibition dates. All exhibition photos are also presented on this website. Previous dates: 1 August – 31 October 2019: UNESCO Weltnaturerbe Wattenmeer Besucherzentrum Norderney 8 January – 28 April 2019 Osnabrück, Museum am Schölerberg 10 July – 29 August 2018: Bremen, Haus der Wissenschaft 8 December 2017 – 4 […]

The challenge for Theme 2 will be to feed the complex results into synthesising models to adequately exploit the newly achieved insights. The prime objectives of BIOACID III with regard to benthic ecosystems are the following: collecting and archiving all available data from the core experiments in BIOACID II but also from other BIOACID consortia […]

The goal of this consortium is to deepen and consolidate our understanding of ocean acidification effects and other stressors on plankton communities in terms of plankton ecology and biogeochemical functioning. This information will be implemented into an integrated assessment of ocean acidification effects on mainly pelagic ecosystem including possible feedback mechanisms. We will synthesize the […]

Theme leaders: Thorsten Dittmar, Uni Oldenburg Maren Voss, IOW Theme members: Maarten Boersma, AWI Kai Wirtz, HZG Hans-Peter Grossart, IGB Thorsten Dittmar, Universität Oldenburg Ulf Riebesell, GEOMAR Maren Voss, IOW Andreas Oschlies, GEOMAR Wolfgang Koeve, Julia Getzlaff, GEOMAR To secure ecosystem properties and services in the future ocean we need to improve our understanding on response of pelagic communities to climate change, in […]

From the Arctic to the tropics, ocean acidification changes life in the sea. By absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, the ocean slows down global climate change. But in seawater, the greenhouse gas causes a chemical reaction with far-reaching consequences: carbonic acid is formed, and the pH drops.

Together with Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Labex MER, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Ocean and Climate Platform and the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre, the German research network on ocean acidification, BIOACID (Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification) draws negotiators’ attention to ocean change at the Marrakech Climate Change Conference COP22.

In a photo exhibition by the German research network on ocean acidification BIOACID, the two nature photographers Solvin Zankl and Nick Cobbing present BIOACID members at their work and introduce organisms that current ocean acidification research focuses on. The exhibition is a contribution to the Science Year 2016*17 – Seas and Oceans and is presented […]

Increasing ocean acidification could double the mortality of newly-hatched cod larvae. This would put populations of this economically important fish species more and more under pressure if exploitation remains unchanged. For the first time ever, members of the German research network BIOACID have quantified mortality rates of cod in the western Baltic Sea and the […]

Maarten van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal, born in 1976, is a documentary film maker, cameraman and editor with degrees in cinematography and marine biology. His main interests lie in natural and environmental topics. From 2004 to 2015, he was a producer and head of video production for Greenpeace International in Amsterdam. Since 2016, he has worked […]

Prof. Hans-Otto Pörtner, marine biologist at Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, is both co-coordinator of BIOACID and co-chair of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC provides the scientific basis for the negotiations on climate change and the climate goals that are set to […]

Dr. Katja Mintenbeck, marine biologist at Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, conducted a meta analysis as part of BIOACID. Results from more than 500 studies about effects of ocean acidification and warming were entered in a data base and analysed in relation to various research questions. Species from tropical and […]

The jurist, philosopher and sociologist Prof. Felix Ekardt is founder and director of the Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy and external professor for public law and legal philosophy at Rostock University. As part of BIOACID, Ekardt’s Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy assessed political instruments against ocean acidification and climate change such as the […]

María Algueró-Muñiz, marine biologist at Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), works at the North Sea Island Helgoland. In summer, she goes out by boat to collect moon jellyfish for her experiments on the impact of ocean acidification, warming and deoxygenation. She concentrates on the „ephyrae“ state of jellyfish. The […]

Maria Moreno de Castro, modeler at Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG), became a scientist because she likes to solve mysteries. Just like a detective, she tries to track uncertainties in scientific findings. “Our daily life is full of uncertainties. In science it’s the same: There are many outcomes, any solutions, many responses that we are not certain […]

Prof. Ulf Riebesell, marine biologist at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and coordinator of the German research network on ocean acidification BIOACID, has been among the first scientists who investigated the effects of carbon dioxide on marine organisms. When he found out that calcifying phytoplankton, microscopic algae that play an important role for […]

Bladderwrack, Fucus vesiculosus, provides a perfect basis for ecosystems in the Baltic Sea. Many other organisms thrive in the Fucus forests. Also fish lay their eggs there. “This is why we have to investigate the influence of climate change on this species of alga,” says Angelika Graiff, marine biologist at the University of Rostock. For […]

How does climate change alter the ocean? How can the ocean provide food for our planet’s growing population? Catriona Clemmesen-Bockelmann, fisheries biologist at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and her colleagues investigate, how ocean acidification and warming affect economically important fish species. Eggs and larvae appear to be most sensitive – and only […]

Nicola Wannicke, marine biologist at Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde (IOW) investigates winners of ocean acidification: Cyanobacteria benefit from eutrophication as well as rises in temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations. When the Baltic Sea warms in Summer and much carbon dioxide dissolves in the sea water, the algae thrive especially well. Since […]

Lennart Bach, marine biologist at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel investigates a tiny organism that can hardly be seen with the naked eye – and is still visible from space. The single-celled calcifying alga that his research focuses on is called Emiliania huxleyi. It is a true multi-talent: Its calcium carbonate platelets carry […]

Felix Mark, marine ecophysiologist at Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), investigates the effects of climate change on two closely-related fish species in the Arctic. Due to rising water temperatures, the Atlantic cod is moving northwards and might take over the habitat of the native polar cod. Laboratory experiments at […]

Silke Lischka, marine biologist at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is a pteropod expert. These planktonic snails are also called sea butterflies, because they flutter through the ocean with their foot that has developed into two small wings. „ I really enjoy looking at them“, says Silke Lischka. But the elegant organisms are […]

Janina Büscher, marine biologist at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, focuses on a beauty from the cold and dark depths of the ocean: The cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa. This species can be found all over the globe – and it seems to be less susceptible to ocean acidification than scientists had expected. Germany’s […]

The shells and skeletons of many marine organisms are made from either calcite or aragonite – two mineral forms of calcium carbonate. Scientists are particularly interested in aragonite, which is produced by many tropical corals, cold-water corals, pteropods and some molluscs. It is more soluble than calcite. Organisms grow shells and skeletons more easily when […]

Just like a steady snowfall, tiny organic particles – dead plankton and smaller organisms as well as their fecal products, but also sand, dust and soot – sink from the water surface to the sea floor. Much of this material that sticks together like snowflakes, is already consumed on its way down by microbes, zooplankton […]

Seen from a geological perspective, phases of ocean acidification are not new. During the Paleocene-Eocene Temperature Maximum (PETM) 55 million years ago, global temperatures rose by about 6 degrees Celsius in less than 10,000 years. The carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere increased as well as the ocean’s acidity. Many calcifying benthic organisms died – […]

For the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), new development scenarios were created. These “Representative Concentration Pathways” (RCPs) describe anticipated radiative forcings, i.e. the sum of the climate-related disturbances in the atmosphere, in watts per square meter. Model calculations translate the forcing into climatic changes evoked by them and reveal […]

A brown-greenish lunar landscape covers the seafloor in some bays of Papua New Guinea. Poor in species, monotonous and separeted from the divers surroundings by curtains of rising bubbles. Is this what the future of tropical coral reefs looks like? The volcanic carbon dioxide vents in the South Pacific archipelago provide scientists with a glimpse […]

Germany’s only manned research submersible is based at GEOMAR since January 2006. But its history goes back much further: In 1988, the oceanographer Hans Fricke, the submersible pilot and technician Jürgen Schauer, biologist Karen Hissmann and the allrounder Lutz Kasang started constructing the underwater vehicle at the former Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology in […]

The European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA) was the first international research effort on ocean acidification. It was launched in May 2008 with the overall goal to further our understanding of the biological, ecological, biogeochemical, and societal implications of ocean acidification. The project comprised more than 160 scientists from 32 institutions in Belgium, France, Germany, […]

Exploring Ocean Change As one of the largest national research programmes on ocean acidification, BIOACID has contributed to quantifying the effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms and their habitats, unravelling the mechanisms underlying the observed responses, assessing the potential for evolutionary adaptation, and determining how these responses are modulated by other environmental drivers. In […]

In the field, the KOSMOS mesocosms look like tiny floating pavilions. Just the upper one and a half metres of the floatation frames stick out of the water, shining in bright orange between the waves, and their transparent umbrella hood sparkles in the sun. When the photographer Nick Cobbing visited the mesocosm experiment in Spitsbergen […]

The pH indicates how acidic or basic (alkaline) a liquid is. It depends on the concentration of hydrogen ions in an aqueous solution. If the number of hydrogen ions decreases, the pH increases. If the number of hydrogen ions increases, the pH decreases. Pure water has a pH of 7. Lower values are described as […]

People have lived from the ocean for as long as we can remember. Cultures are defined by their proximity to the sea. People travel to the coast to relax. Natural resources are hidden in the seafloor. Algae produce about half of the oxygen in the atmosphere. Marine organisms release substances that might one day be […]

All tropical coral reefs taken together cover just one per cent of the ocean – but they are home to a quarter of all marine organisms. Up to two million different plants and animals exist in and around the reefs. A biodiversity as high as this can only be found in the tropical rainforest. Many […]

Corals – their mention evokes mental images of a colourful diversity in bright, clear blue water. But there are also species that hide their beauty: cold-water corals live in depths of up thousands of metres and often at single-digit water temperatures. Most widespread is the stony coral Lophelia pertusa. From Northern Norway, a band of […]

From microorganisms to large marine mammals: A variety of interrelationships connects animals and plants in the ocean. The marine food web is not just defined by the immediate “eat and be eaten” – the exchange of organic nutrients and vital functions is equally crucial. We humans may consider us as part of this system: The […]

Due to their lower water temperatures, Polar seas will be hit first by ocean acidification. Cooler water takes up more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – while the ocean surface at the equator even releases this greenhouse gas. Dissolved salt buffers the effect of acidification. But with ice sheets melting, the salinity declines and the […]