Geosciences Column: Tracing Toba

Large volcanic eruptions have a significant impact on the Earth’s climate as aerosols (including sulphur dioxide and water vapour), together with ash are released into the atmosphere and increase the amount of sunlight reflected back into space (the albedo). This increase in reflectance (or decrease in energy absorption) can cause widespread climatic cooling, known as a ‘volcanic winter’. However, ...[Read More]

Geosciences Column: Larvae, Climate and Calcification

The absorption of atmospheric CO2 by the oceans results in a decline in ocean pH, hence ‘ocean acidification’, and reduces the availability of carbonate. This presents a problem to calcifying organisms (those that deposit calcium as either calcite or aragonite as hard parts) because they cannot produce their shells, valves (in the case of bivalves), or tests (in the case of diatoms) as readily. To ...[Read More]