Studying Acidification in the Lab
Researchers can study ocean acidification in the lab by rearing organisms in seawater with variable pH and measuring if they grow, eat, breathe, reproduce, or develop differently. It's common, for example, to have one tank of seawater with pH that is common in the ocean today, one that is a little bit higher, and one that is a lot higher. While this doesn't usually tell scientists how whole ecosystems will respond to acidification, it can help figure out the general impacts to a single organism or predator-prey pairs. Here, researchers with BIOACID rear Lophelia deep-sea corals in seawater with variable pH.