Ocean Acidification & Chemical Signalling

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You might recall a month or so ago I started a new project on the site, Chemunicate, with which I aim to work with chemistry researchers and help produce graphics explaining their work in a straightforward manner. This graphic is the result of a collaboration with scientists from the University of Hull, and explains their study in which they examined how ocean acidification could affect the chemical senses of marine organisms.

Ocean acidification is one of the concerns surrounding the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Some of this carbon dioxide can dissolve in seawater, and when it does so, it increases the seawater’s acidity over long time scales. University of Hull chemists found that this increase in acidity could have effects on molecules used by marine organisms as chemical ‘cues’ for, amongst other things, egg ventilation, hatching, and settlement.

There’s a more detailed explanation of the science behind the study in Professor Mark Lorch’s piece for The Guardian, which is accompanied by this graphic. The research and graphic have also been featured in The Conversation. The university’s original press release also includes the graphic!

Chemunicate creates commissioned graphics for chemistry researchers. If you’re interested in having a graphic made for your research, find out more here.