Featured Stories | August 10, 2015

Rolling Stone Spotlights MIT Ocean Acidification Research

By Cassie Martin

Rolling Stone magazine recently spotlighted MIT Research Scientist Stephanie Dutkiewicz’s study on how ocean acidification affects phytoplankton—microorganisms that make up the base of the marine food chain—in an article about the increasingly rapid and worrisome impacts of climate change.

Dutkiewicz’s study, published last month in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that increased ocean acidification over the next 85 years may fundamentally alter the ocean’s phytoplankton diversity: some species could die out while others may flourish, with perhaps serious consequences for the food web and biogeochemical cycles. The model also predicted that phytoplankton will move toward the poles as waters warm, which could have broad implications for marine communities in the next century.

From Rolling Stone:

The rapid changes Dutkiewicz and her colleagues are observing have shocked some of their fellow scientists into thinking that yes, actually, we’re heading toward the worst-case scenario. Unlike a prediction of massive sea-level rise just decades away, the warming and acidifying oceans represent a problem that seems to have kick-started a mass extinction on the same time scale.”

Read the article online here, and check out this video of Dutkiewicz talking more generally about her research.

Courtesy of MIT Tech TV