Transcript: Acid Ocean | May 12, 2015

Tyler says DISTURBING CHANGES
ARE TAKING PLACE IN THE OCEAN.
THE CHEMICAL MAKEUP OF SEAWATER
IS RAPIDLY INCREASING IN
ACIDITY.
THE LAST TIME THE OCEANS WENT
THROUGH SUCH A TRANSFORMATION
THERE WAS A MASS EXTINCTION OF
MARINE LIFE.

A clip shows a clear lake, a glacier, a whale blowing water, tow chimneys belching smoke into the sky and an oil platform.

Alex says AT STAKE NOW IS THE
SURVIVAL OF COUNTLESS MARINE
BILLIONS OF PEOPLE.
HOW DO WE PREPARE FOR AN ACID
OCEAN?

Shoals of fish swim and people buy and sell in street food markets.

A title appears on screen. It reads “Acid Ocean.” The title is on a sea background. Then, it evaporates.

Tyler says HEY EVERYONE! I'M TYLER.

A fast clip shows Tyler, snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding, scuba diving and in a plane.
A caption reads “Tyler.”

Tyler is in his late twenties with brown hair and wears a green plaid shirt, and is clean-shaven.

Tyler continues AND THIS IS MY YOUNGER BROTHER
ALEX.

A fast clip shows Alex water skiing, zip lining, swimming with sharks, and holding a fish.
A caption reads “Alex.”
Alex is in his late twenties with light brown hair and is not clean-shaven. He wears a dark striped hoodie.

Alex says AND TOGETHER WE'RE THE
WATER BROTHERS.

Then photos show Alex and Tyler in wetsuits and Alex with snorkels, Tyler with a camera near a glacier with Alex, and Tyler and Alex wearing red Mountie uniforms with brown hats, and holding fishing nets.

A fast clip shows the brothers canoeing on a lake, then sailing a boat, scuba diving in the ocean, then two fisherman throw their nets out into the water and a group of dolphins play in the ocean.

Alex continues WE'RE GOING TO TAKE
YOU ON AN ADVENTURE AROUND THE
WORLD TO EXPLORE THE STATE OF
OUR BLUE PLANET.
A PLANET DEFINED BY WATER AND
ITS ABILITY TO SUSTAIN LIFE.

The fast clip continues showing the two brothers in a speedboat, a woman pumping water, and another woman pulling water from a well.

Tyler says SO JOIN US ON OUR JOURNEY
AS WE EXPLORE THE WORLD,
LOOKING AT THE MOST IMPORTANT
WATER STORIES OF OUR TIME.

Alex says AND TOGETHER WE WILL LEARN
HOW TO BETTER PROTECT OUR MOST
PRECIOUS RESOURCE.

A title appears on screen it reads “The Water Brothers.”

Tyler says FOR DECADES, WE
VIEWED THE OCEAN AS OUR BEST
DEFENSE AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE.
AFTER ALL, THE OCEAN ABSORBS
OVER 30 PERCENT OF ALL
CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS,
INCLUDING FROM HUMAN SOURCES
LIKE THE BURNING OF FOSSIL
FUELS.

A clip of the ocean showing tides appears, then changes to a volcano eruption and a plane landing.

Richard Feely is in his sixties, with gray hair and clean-shaven. He’s wearing glasses and a blue striped polo shirt.

Richard says WE ALL THOUGHT
THE UPTAKE OF CARBON DIOXIDE
INTO THE OCEANS WAS A GREAT
THING.

The caption changes to “Doctor Richard Feely. Senior Scientist. National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration.”

Richard continues BUT WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED OVER
THE LAST FIFTEEN YEARS IS THAT
THERE IS THIS ENORMOUS PRICE TO
PAY BY TAKING UP THAT
CARBON DIOXIDE IN THE CHANGING
ACIDIFICATION OF THE OCEAN.

Alex says JUST AS ANIMALS ON
BONES, MANY MARINE ORGANISMS
SHELLS, ORGANS AND SKELETONS.
BUT AS CARBON DIOXIDE BUILDS UP
IN THE OCEAN, IT REACTS WITH
SEAWATER, MAKING IT MORE
DIFFICULT FOR MARINE LIFE TO
ABSORB CALCIUM CARBONATE.
THIS PROCESS ALSO CAUSES THE PH
LEVEL OF SEAWATER TO LOWER,
INCREASING ITS ACIDITY.

An animation features small balls falling into the sea that highlight a crab and sea plants. Then, a caption reads “Calcium Carbonate.” A colourful bar with numbers reads “The Ph scale.” A triangle slightly moves from a right side that reads “Alkaline” to the left side that reads “Acidic.”

Tyler says ALTHOUGH SEAWATER IS
ALKALINE AND HAD BEEN
RELATIVELY STABLE AT AN AVERAGE
PH OF 8.2 FOR MOST OF HUMAN
HISTORY, SINCE THE INDUSTRIAL
REVOLUTION THE ACIDITY
OF SEAWATER HAS INCREASED BY
AROUND 30 PERCENT.

A black and white clip shows factory workers and cars driving in the street.

Alex says SCIENTISTS KNOW HOW
DANGEROUS OCEAN ACIDIFICATION
CAN BE BECAUSE IT HAS HAPPENED
BEFORE.
BY DRILLING SEDIMENT CORES DEEP
INTO THE SEAFLOOR, SCIENTISTS
HAVE UNCOVERED EVIDENCE OF
A MASSIVE CLIMATE CHANGE EVENT
THAT TOOK PLACE AROUND 55
MILLION YEARS AGO KNOWN AS
THE PETM.

People work with sea samples on a ship.

Richard says WE HAD AN
ENORMOUS INCREASE IN CO2 IN
THE ATMOSPHERE AND THE
OCEANS OVER A TEN THOUSAND
YEAR TIME FRAME.
SO YOU CAN SEE THAT IT WAS A
FAIRLY SLOW PROCESS, RELATIVE TO
THE CHANGES WE ARE MAKING NOW.
WE'RE MAKING THOSE SAME KINDS OF
CHANGES OVER THE LAST TWO AND A
HALF CENTURIES, AS OPPOSED TO
SPREADING THAT OUT OVER TENS
OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

Tyler says OVER THE COURSE OF
THE PETM, MULTIPLE SPECIES
COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED FROM THE
FOSSIL RECORD, INCLUDING A MASS
EXTINCTION OF SHELLED MARINE
LIFE LIVING ON THE SEAFLOOR.
RECENT RESEARCH SHOWS THAT
MODERN DAY ACIDIFICATION IS
OCCURRING AT LEAST TEN TIMES
FASTER THAN IT DID DURING
THE PETM OR ANY OTHER TIME
IN EARTH'S HISTORY.

Animated blue circles with sea life disappear as they go deeper into the sea.

Crouched by a lake, Alex takes a small rock and says THE CAUSES OF OCEAN
ACIDIFICATION AND ITS IMPACTS ON
MARINE LIFE ARE BASED ON BASIC
PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY,
THEY SIMPLY CANNOT BE DENIED.
AND WE KNOW FROM LOOKING INTO
THE PAST THAT ACIDIFICATION HAS
HAPPENED BEFORE AND THAT IT
HAS THE POTENTIAL TO LEAD TO AN
EXTINCTION OF MARINE LIFE.
BUT WHAT TROUBLING SIGNS CAN WE
SEE IN THE OCEAN RIGHT NOW?
THAT'S WHAT'S BROUGHT US HERE TO
VANCOUVER ISLAND, TO SEE HOW
THE PROCESS OF OCEAN
ACIDIFICATION IS ALREADY
WELL UNDERWAY.

Debby Ianson stands in a room with a world map on the background. She’s in her forties, with short wavy hair. She’s wearing glasses and a pale yellow shirt over a white T-shirt.

Debby says IN THE PACIFIC
NORTHWEST THE WATERS ARE
ALREADY NATURALLY MORE
ACIDIC.
AND THAT'S BECAUSE OF THE OCEAN
CIRCULATION.

The caption changes to “Doctor Debby Ianson. Ocean Climate Modeller. Fisheries and Oceans Canada.”

Debby continues THE WATER HERE IS OLDER, IT'S
HAD MORE TIME FOR ORGANIC CARBON
TO RAIN DOWN INTO IT AND ROT AND
PRODUCE CO2 AND BECOME
MORE ACIDIC.
SO THESE SMALL CHANGES OR THE
BEGINNINGS OF THE CHANGES THAT
WE ARE SEEING BECAUSE OF OUR
FOSSIL FUEL BURNING ARE ALREADY
CAUSING SHELLFISH HERE IN THE
PACIFIC NORTHWEST TO HAVE A
HARDER TIME, IN PARTICULAR THE
LARVAL STAGES THAT FORM A VERY
SUSCEPTIBLE FORM OF CALCIUM
CARBONATE.

Alex says WITH WILD SHELLFISH
POPULATIONS DECIMATED ACROSS
NORTH AMERICA FROM CENTURIES
OF OVER HARVESTING, THE WATERS
OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST HAVE
BECOME AN IDEAL PLACE
TO RAISE SHELLFISH USING
AQUACULTURE.

An old clip shows fishermen selecting shellfish. Then, seals sunbathe.

Tyler says THE STATES OF OREGON
AND WASHINGTON AND THE PROVINCE
OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ARE HOME TO
INDUSTRIES THAT PRODUCE
BILLIONS OF OYSTERS, MUSSELS,
SCALLOPS AND CLAMS, GENERATING
OVER 300 MILLION DOLLARS IN
ECONOMIC ACTIVITY.

A North America map appears. Light red shapes read “Oregon, Washington, British Columbia.”

Alex says ISLAND SCALLOPS IN
QUALICUM, BRITISH COLUMBIA,
IS ONE OF CANADA'S LARGEST
SHELLFISH PRODUCERS.
IN ITS HATCHERIES, SEAWATER IS
PIPED DIRECTLY FROM THE
OCEAN INTO TANKS ON LAND WHERE
LARVAE ARE GROWN
DURING THEIR FIRST FEW WEEKS
OF LIFE.
WITHOUT FULLY FORMED SHELLS,
THESE JUVENILES ARE AT THE MOST
VULNERABLE STAGE IN THEIR LIFE
CYCLE.

Rob Saunders guides Alex and Tyler through a ship. He is clean-shaven, in his sixties and with curly gray hair. He’s wearing a gray jacket, an open-necked striped shirt and glasses on his head.

Rob looks at samples in a microscope.

Rob says SO I'M GOING TO
SAY '09, '010,
THE HATCHERY YEAR, WE STARTED TO
NOTICE THAT OUR LARVAE
WEREN'T GROWING VERY WELL.

The caption changes to “Rob Saunders. CEO Island Scallops.”

Rob continues JUST AS YOU FEED YOUR DOG
OR YOUR PET, YOU FEED IT, AND
IF IT'S NOT EATING YOU KNOW
THAT'S THEIR FIRST CLUE THAT
SOMETHING'S GOING WRONG, AND
THAT WAS OUR FIRST CLUE.
NORMALLY, THE PH SHOULD BE ABOUT
8.1, 8.2, AND IT HAD BEEN THAT
FOREVER.
SO INITIALLY WHEN WE STARTED TO
SEE PH AS LOW AS 7.6,
WE THOUGHT OH, IT'S SOMETHING
WE'RE DOING.
IT'S OUR INTAKE, OR OUR PUMPS,
IT'S NOT THE OCEAN.
SO WE STARTED BUFFERING, AND WE
SAW A DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE.

Tyler says BY BUFFERING, WHICH
MEANS ADDING MINERALS THAT
REMOVE CO2 FROM THE
SEAWATER TO INCREASE ITS PH AND
MAKE IT LESS ACIDIC, HATCHERIES
ACROSS THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CREATE MORE
STABLE GROWING CONDITIONS.

Rob shows Alex a large tank.

Alex says SO WE HAVE FORTY MILLION
OYSTERS SWIMMING AROUND HERE IN
FRONT OF US, WHAT'S THE SURVIVAL
RATE FOR A TANK LIKE THIS?
I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY BEFORE THE PH
WAS CHANGING THEY WERE
NOT ALL SURVIVING.

Rob laughs and says IT WAS
ZERO.

Alex says IT WAS ZERO?

Rob says IT WAS ZERO. ZERO.

Alex says SO, ALL FORTY MILLION.

Rob says ALL FORTY MILLION
IS DEAD.
ON THE BOTTOM. DAY TEN. SET YOUR
WATCH BY IT.
I'M NOT KIDDING, THAT'S HOW
DRAMATIC IT WAS.

Tyler says SHELLFISH FARMERS ACROSS THE
PACIFIC NORTHWEST HAS BEEN
SIGNIFICANT.
AND ISLAND SCALLOPS ALMOST WENT
FIRST STRUCK.

Rob says LOSING, YOU KNOW,
FIVE MILLION DOLLARS IS NOT A
TREAT ANYBODY WANTS TO GO
THROUGH.

Now, Alex, Tyler and Rob walk down a dirt road next a huge white contained that reads “Qualicum Scallops.”

Alex says BY ALTERING THE PH OF
THEIR SEAWATER, HATCHERIES HAVE
SINCE SOLVED THE PROBLEM OF
ACIDIFICATION HARMING THEIR
MARKET SIZE, ALL JUVENILES MUST
EVENTUALLY BE PLACED INTO THE
OCEAN.

Rob says UNFORTUNATELY, THE
OCEAN OF COURSE,
WE CAN'T MODIFY.
WE'RE STILL NOT OUT OF THE WOODS
YET.

Tyler says UNLIKE THE
HATCHERIES, NOTHING CAN BE DONE
TO PROTECT ADULT SHELLFISH AS
THEY GROW FOR THE NEXT THREE
YEARS IN THE ACIDIFYING OCEAN.
ON BOARD A FLOATING PROCESSING
FACTORY, WE WATCHED AS CAGES
OF ADULT SCALLOPS WERE PULLED
FROM THE WATER AND
SORTED FOR MARKET.

Alex stands next to Sam Robin. He’s in his late thirties, with a short beard and short wavy brown hair. He’s wearing a dark T-shirt under an gray jean vest.

Sam takes a few scallops out of a basket and says SO IF YOU TAKE A LOOK
IN HERE AT THIS SEED,
YOU'LL SEE SOME HEALTHY ANIMALS
THAT HAVE BEEN GROWING AND
THEY'RE DOING WELL, BUT YOU'LL
ALSO FIND LOTS OF
THESE LITTLE GUYS HERE, RIGHT?

The caption changes to “Sam Robins. Scallop farmer. Qualicum Beach. BC.”

Sam continues IN THIS KIND OF SMALLER SIZE,
AND IF YOU DIG THROUGH HERE AND
YOU LOOK AT THIS SHELL YOU'LL
NOTICE JUST HOW FINE AND BRITTLE
IT REALLY IS.

Alex says THEY JUST FALL APART IN
YOUR HANDS.

Sam says YEAH, I'M NOT PUTTING
ANY PRESSURE AT ALL AND THEY
JUST SHATTER RIGHT IN HALF.
AND THAT WAS THE SCALLOP'S
INABILITY TO PRODUCE A THICK
ENOUGH, ROBUST ENOUGH SHELL TO
CARRY ON.

Alex says LIKE THESE?

Sam says YEAH, AND YOU CAN SEE
IT ALL THROUGH.
IT'S BECOMING A BIGGER AND
BIGGER PROBLEM EVERY YEAR.
THIS PARTICULAR BATCH THAT WE'RE
SORTING RIGHT NOW, I'M ONLY
GETTING ABOUT A FIFTY-TWO
PERCENT RECOVERY OF WHAT I
PUT IN THERE, COMPARED TO
WHAT I'M PULLING OUT.

Alex says WHAT WOULD IT BE NORMALLY?

Sam says NORMALLY? NINETY.
NINETY-FIVE PERCENT, RIGHT?
YOU EXPECT SOME MORTALITY,
BECAUSE OF HANDLING ISSUES
AND THINGS LIKE THAT.
TO ONLY GET FIFTY PERCENT BACK
OUT OF A LOADING, THAT'S TOUGH.
RIGHT? THOSE ARE TOUGH NUMBERS
TO WORK WITH.

Alex says YEAH.
HOW OFTEN ARE YOU SEEING
THESE DEFORMITIES POPPING UP?

Sam says IT'S BECOMING MORE
AND MORE COMMON.
I SEE THEM EVERY DAY NOW.
AND YOU KNOW, TO HAVE NEVER SEEN
THEM BEFORE FOUR YEARS
AGO TO GO TO SEEING THEM EVERY
SINGLE DAY IN A SORT LIKE THIS,
IT'S DISHEARTENING.
YOU KNOW, I'VE GOT
A CREW HERE WORKING ON DECK
TODAY THAT'S PROBABLY SIX OR
SEVEN PEOPLE, YOU KNOW,
FOUR YEARS AGO, I WAS RUNNING A
CREW OF TWENTY-FIVE GUYS
OUT HERE.
IT WAS JUST HOPPING.
YOU KNOW, YOU COULD BARELY
MOVE FOR CREW, BECAUSE THERE
WERE JUST SO MANY SCALLOPS
COMING THROUGH.

Fast clips feature fisherman unloading scallops and placing them on a conveyor belt.

Alex says MOST MARINE CREATURES
THAT CALCIFY AND BUILD SHELLS
ARE EXPECTED TO BE NEGATIVELY
AFFECTED BY ACIDIFICATION.
SCALLOPS MEANS THEY ARE
PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE.

Sam says THEY SAY DON'T PUT
ALL YOUR EGGS INTO ONE BASKET,
BUT WE'VE ONLY REALLY GOT ONE
OCEAN, SO WHAT DO YOU DO?
IF WE CAN'T GET THIS PROBLEM
SOLVED AND STOP THE
ACIDIFICATION OR BREED A SCALLOP
THAT IS MORE TOLERANT TO AN
ACIDIC OCEAN, WE'LL BE OUT OF
BUSINESS.
THAT'S ALL THERE IS TO IT FOR
US.

Tyler says IT WAS TROUBLING TO
MEET WITH FARMERS WHO ARE
FACED WITH SUCH AN UNCERTAIN
FUTURE AND TO REALIZE THAT
WILD SHELLFISH POPULATIONS
HAVE ALSO SUSTAINED LOSSES
IN RECENT YEARS

A purple starfish lies on the shore.

Alex says THAT ARE
CORROSIVE ENOUGH TO HARM
STRONGER SHELLED ADULT OYSTERS,
THE EFFECT ON LOCAL ECONOMIES
WILL BE MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT.

A shop reads “Taylor Shellfish Farms.” Customers eat near shellfish displays.

Alex speaks with Bill Dewey on the street. He is in his sixties, clean-shaven with receding gray hair. He’s wearing a black polo shirt and blue jeans.

Bill says I THINK WE ARE THE
FIRST INDUSTRY THAT'S ACTUALLY
SEEN A DIRECT AFFECT FROM OCEAN
ACIDIFICATION.
WE'RE JUST ONE OF MANY
CALCIFIERS IN THE OCEAN.

The caption changes to “Bill Dewey. Production Manager Taylor Shellfish Farms, USA.”

Bill continues THERE'S A LOT OF OTHER ORGANISMS
OUT THERE THAT UNLIKE OYSTERS,
THAT HAVE PEOPLE THAT LIKE TO
EAT THEM, AND FARMERS THAT LIKE
TO GROW THEM, SO ESSENTIALLY
THEY HAVE A SPOKESMAN, A LOT
OF THE OTHER ORGANISMS THAT ARE
BEING AFFECTED, THEY DON'T HAVE
A SPOKESMEN, BECAUSE THEY ARE
DOWN FURTHER IN THE FOOD CHAIN.
WE LIKE TO EAT THINGS THAT THEY
EAT.
BUT THERE IS NOBODY EATING THEM.
SO PTEROPODS AND ALL THESE
LITTLE PLANKTON THAT ARE BEING
AFFECTED, YOU KNOW, WE DON'T
REALLY KNOW.

Tyler says FARMED SHELLFISH
ARE CERTAINLY NOT THE ONLY
ANIMALS BEING HARMED BY
ACIDIFICATION.
SCIENTISTS AROUND THE WORLD ARE
MEASURING HOW CHANGING OCEAN
ACIDITY IS AFFECTING A GROUP OF
ORGANISMS CALLED PTEROPODS.

The caption changes to “Doctor Amy Maas. Marine Biologist Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.”

Amy sits in a laboratory. She’s in her thirties, with long straight blond hair parted in the middle. She’s wearing a bright blue shirt.

Amy says PTEROPODS ARE
THESE OPEN OCEAN SNAILS,
SO THEY'RE RELATED TO OTHER
GASTROPODS THAT PEOPLE ARE
FAMILIAR WITH, SO THAT WOULD
BE LIKE MOLLUSKS, BIVALVES THAT
WE EAT, MUSSELS, BUT MORE
CLOSELY TO GROUND SNAILS
OR MARINE SNAILS, EXCEPT FOR
THEY LIVE THEIR ENTIRE LIVES
IN THE OPEN OCEAN.
AND AS THEY GROW UP, THEY
DEVELOP THESE TWO WINGS
AND THEY FLAP, THAT'S HOW THEY
SWIM, THAT'S HOW THEY
EXPERIENCE THE WORLD, THE
ORIGINAL COMMON NAME FOR
THEM WAS SEA BUTTERFLIES.

A close-up shot shows transparent creatures swimming.

Alex says AS IS OFTEN THE CASE
IN THE OCEAN, SMALL CREATURES
LIKE PTEROPODS PLAY A KEY ROLE

Nina Bednarsek sits in a room. In the background, a wall reads “Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.” She is in her forties. She has short gray hair. She’s wearing a dark shirt.

The caption changes to “Doctor Nina Bednarsek. Biological Oceanographer. National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administation.”

Nina says THEY ARE REALLY
IMPORTANT BECAUSE THEY CHANNEL
ENERGY FROM PRIMARY TO
SECONDARY PRODUCERS.
SO BASICALLY FISH AND EVEN BIRDS
AND WHALES CAN FEED ON THEM.
BUT IN TERMS OF OCEAN
ACIDIFICATION, PTEROPODS
HAVE REALLY, REALLY THIN SHELLS,
IN FACT SO THIN THAT YOU CAN
SEE THROUGH THEM.
YOU CAN SEE THEIR HEART BEATING.
BUT THIS MAKES THEM EXTREMELY
VULNERABLE TO
OCEAN ACIDIFICATION AND WE ARE
USING THEM AS A BIO-INDICATOR,
TO WHAT EXTENT WE HAVE CHANGED
CARBONATE CHEMISTRY
OF THE OCEANS.

Tyler says TO MEASURE PTEROPODS
SUSCEPTIBILITY TO INCREASING
ACIDITY, SCIENTISTS LIKE NINA
AND AMY ARE TAKING PTEROPODS
FROM THE WILD AND EXPOSING THEM
TO VARYING
CARBON DIOXIDE LEVELS.

Several glass cans of different sizes sit on a table with blue hoses pumping bubbles into them.

Alex says AFTER A FEW WEEKS OF
BEING EXPOSED TO CO2 LEVELS
EXPECTED BY THE END OF THE
CENTURY, PTEROPODS
EXPERIENCE DRAMATIC CHANGES.

Ale and Nina look at a computer screen.

Nina says AND WE HAVE HERE, AN
ACTIVE PTEROPOD, WE CAN SEE A
TRANSLUCENT, VERY NICE SMOOTH
SHELL, AND THEY ARE
RESPONDING BASICALLY REALLY
FAST.
BUT IN COMPARISON WITH THIS
PTEROPODS THAT GOT EXPOSED TO
HIGH CO2 CONDITIONS THEY WILL
HAVE INCREASED PROBLEMS WITH
SWIMMING, THEIR SHELL WILL LOOK
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT,
OPAQUE, DISSOLVED AND SO ON.

Amy says WE'VE ACTUALLY HAD
RESEARCHERS WHO HAVE GONE TO
ANTARCTICA AND LOOKED AT THE
WATER AND FOUND PLACES WHERE
THE CHEMISTRY HAS CHANGED SO
MUCH, JUST BASED ON BEING A COLD
OCEAN AND THE SALINITY, THAT
IT'S ALREADY DISSOLVING SHELLS.
SO PTEROPODS IN THE
WILD, NATURALLY, ARE ALREADY
SHOWING SIGNS OF ACIDIFICATION,
IN CERTAIN REGIONS.

An aerial view shows glaciers and ice melting.

Alex says IN COLDER WATER, CO2
MOLECULES FORM STRONGER BONDS
WITH WATER MOLECULES CAUSING
MORE OF THEM TO BE ABSORBED.
SO POLAR SEAS WILL EXPERIENCE
THE EFFECTS OF ACIDIFICATION
MUCH FASTER THAN TROPICAL OR
TEMPERATE OCEANS.

Tyler says PTEROPODS STRUGGLE TO SWIM AND
WILL BE EXPOSED TO HIGHER RATES
OF BACTERIAL INFECTION
AND PREDATION.

An animation features a pteropods gradually disappearing.

Alex says AND IS IT POSSIBLE THAT
THE OCEANS COULD BECOME TOO
ACIDIC FOR PTEROPODS?

Nina says ABSOLUTELY. ABSOLUTELY.
BY THE END OF THE CENTURY, IF WE
CONTINUE BUSINESS AS USUAL
SCENARIO, WE ARE GOING TO SEE IN
MOST OF THE OCEANS, GLOBALLY
VERY DISSOLVED PTEROPODS, IF
THERE ARE GOING TO BE
PTEROPODS AT ALL.

Tyler says SPECIES WE DO CONSUME, LIKE
SALMON AND MACKEREL, DEPEND ON
PTEROPODS AS A MAJOR FOOD
SOURCE.
AND OF COURSE, PTEROPODS ARE
JUST ONE OF COUNTLESS MARINE
SPECIES THAT BUILD SHELLS.

Alex says GLOBAL FISHERIES
FOR CRUSTACEANS LIKE LOBSTERS,
SHRIMP AND CRABS ARE VALUED AT
OVER 40 BILLION DOLLARS, SO
EVEN SMALL CHANGES TO THE SHELL
NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE GLOBAL
ECONOMY AND FOOD SUPPLY.

Tyler says UNFORTUNATELY,
ARE VULNERABLE TO CHANGES IN
SEAWATER CHEMISTRY.

A lobster walks on the seafloor and hides between two rocks.

Alex says AT THE WOODS
HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTE IN
ACIDIFICATION COULD AFFECT
SQUID.

The caption changes to “Aran Mooney.”

Aran sits in a laboratory. He’s in his forties, with receding hair and clean-shaven. He’s wearing a pale green sweater over a blue T-shirt.

Aran says SQUID ARE
CONSIDERED THIS REALLY KEYSTONE
ORGANISM IN THE ENVIRONMENT. SO
BASICALLY, ALMOST ALL ANIMALS IN
THE ENVIRONMENT EITHER EAT OR
ARE EATEN BY SQUID AT SOME
IN THEIR LIFE CYCLES.
FOR EXAMPLE 90
PERCENT OF ALL DOLPHINS AND
WHALES FORAGE ON SQUID AT
SOME POINT IN THEIR LIFETIME
AND OVER HALF MAKE SQUID
THEIR PRIMARY FOOD SOURCE.

A herd of dolphins swims.

Tyler says NOT THE SQUID'S BODY THAT IS
AFFECTED BUT RATHER A TINY
CALCIUM STRUCTURE IN
ITS INNER EAR.

Aran says SO A STATOLITH IS
BASICALLY A NICE DENSE
CALCIUM STONE, IT'S REALLY
USED FOR BALANCE AND
ORIENTATION, RIGHT?
SO HOW DOES THIS ANIMAL KNOW
WHICH WAY IT IS FACING IN THE
ENVIRONMENT, WHICH WAY IS UP.
IS IT RIGHT SIDE UP OR UPSIDE
DOWN?
IT IS ITS GRAVITY DETECTOR
ESSENTIALLY.

An animation features a close-up shot of a small round area near the eye of a squid.

Aran continues AND WE ARE PRETTY INTERESTED IN
HOW THAT CALCIUM GRAVITY
DETECTOR IS IMPACTED BY OA.
SO IN ORDER TO LOOK AT IT, WE
HAVE TO OPEN UP THE SQUID,
SO LET'S GO AND DO IT.

Wearing white aprons, Alex and Tyler stand next to Aran by a table.

Alex says LET'S DO IT!
SO WHAT SPECIES OF
SQUID ARE WE WORKING WITH HERE?

Aran says SO THIS IS DORYTEUTHIS
PEALEII SO BASICALLY THE LONG
FINNED SQUID, OR COMMON MARKET
SQUID OUT HERE
IN THE EAST COAST.

Alex says SO THIS IS CALAMARI, WHAT
YOU USUALLY GET AT A RESTAURANT.

Aran says YUP.
SO WE'RE JUST GOING
TO SLOWLY SLICE AWAY AT IT,
ALMOST LIKE YOU ARE JUST KIND OF
CREATING SLICES OF BREAD.
YOU JUST CUT INTO THE CAVITY, SO
THAT'S REALLY A NICE CUT.
WHEN YOU ARE READY, YOU ARE JUST
GOING TO KIND OF TAKE THE
TWEEZERS, AND YOU SORT OF REACH
IN, AND YOU'RE GOING TO FEEL
AROUND FOR IT.

Alex says OKAY, SO TRY AND PULL THAT
OUT.
OH MAN, THEY ARE DELICATE.
ALRIGHT!

Aran says NICE JOB.

Alex says SO THAT LITTLE THING IS
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR?

Aran says SO IT TAKES TEAMWORK TO
GET IT OUT, RIGHT?
YUP, THAT LITTLE CALCIUM STONE
IS VITALLY IMPORTANT
TO THE SQUID.

Alex puts a tiny white piece into a small plastic container.

Alex says SO DO YOU PUT THESE
THINGS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE AND
YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENCE?

Aran says YEAH, A NICE STATOLITH HAS
THE CALCIUM CRYSTALS ARRANGED IN
BASICALLY NICE LINES,
FROM THE CENTER OF THAT STONE,
AND THOSE CRYSTALS SEEM TO
BE MUCH MORE IN DISARRAY IN
THESE HIGH CO2 EXPOSED ANIMALS,
SO BASICALLY THAT EAR BONE,
OR THAT LITTLE CALCIUM STONE IS
JUST NOT AS WELL ORGANIZED,
AND IT SEEMS TO BE NOT QUITE AS
DENSE.

A microscope picture features a smooth gray oval piece. A caption reads “Current average CO2 conditions.” Then, the gray oval piece looks rusty. The caption changes to “Future elevated CO2 conditions.”

Alex says THEY MAY JUST
BE SWIMMING ALL OVER THE PLACE.
THEY CAN'T TELL WHERE THEY ARE
GOING?

Aran says RIGHT, BASICALLY WHEN YOUR
BALANCE IS OFF RIGHT, YOU HAVE A
HARD TIME SORT OF ORIENTATING
WHICH WAY IS LEFT, OR RIGHT, OR
UP OR DOWN, AND SO THESE GUYS
MIGHT HAVE A REALLY DRAMATIC
DIFFERENCE IN THEIR ABILITY TO
SWIM.

Tyler says SINCE SQUID ARE
FOUND IN ALMOST EVERY MARINE
ECOSYSTEM ON EARTH, IF
ACIDIFICATION DISRUPTS THEIR
ABILITY TO SWIM, CATCH FOOD
OR AVOID PREDATORS, THE EFFECTS
WILL BE FELT ACROSS GLOBAL FOOD
WEBS.

A large orange squid swims.

Alex says OUTSIDE OF LAB CONDITIONS
IT'S STILL NOT CLEAR HOW MARINE
LIFE WILL BE ABLE TO ADAPT TO A
MORE ACIDIC OCEAN.

Tyler says AND WHILE SCIENTISTS ARE
WORKING HARD TO FIGURE OUT HOW
INDIVIDUAL SPECIES WILL BE
IMPACTED, THERE IS STILL A LOT
TO LEARN ABOUT HOW
ENTIRE ECOSYSTEMS WILL CHANGE.

Alex says AND THERE'S ONLY A SMALL
NUMBER OF PLACES ON EARTH WHERE
WE CAN TRY TO FIND ANSWERS TO
THESE QUESTIONS IN A
NATURAL SETTING.
AND THAT'S WHAT'S BROUGHT US
HERE, TO THIS VERY SPECIAL
ISLAND IN ITALY, KNOWN AS
VULCANO.

Jason Hall Spencer sits near a lake. He’s in his late forties, with a short beard and blond hair. He’s wearing a black T-shirt.

Jason says ITALY IS AN
AMAZING PLACE BECAUSE IT'S GOT
LOTS OF MASSIVE VOLCANOES, THERE
IS VESUVIUS, WHICH IS REALLY
FAMOUS, ETNA ON SICILY
WHICH IS REALLY FAMOUS, AND THIS
ONE BEHIND US, VULCANO, IS
VULCAN'S CALDRON, IT'S WHERE
VOLCANOES WERE NAMED.
IT'S AN AMAZING
PLACE BECAUSE AFRICA IS PUSHING
INTO ITALY, DRIVING UP THESE
HUGE VOLCANOES, AND WHERE
YOU'VE GOT THAT HAPPENING,
YOU'VE GOT GAS COMING OUT
THE SEABED.
AND SOME OF THEM, THIS ONE
INCLUDED, HAVE GOT
CARBON DIOXIDE COMING OUT THE
SEABED.

As little fishes swim bubbles come out of the seafloor.

Jason continues SO WE THINK THESE ARE REALLY
GOOD PLACES FOR LOOKING INTO THE
FUTURE OF WHAT HAPPENS TO OCEANS
WHEN CARBON DIOXIDE STARTS
TO RAMP UP, BECAUSE YOU CAN
ACTUALLY SEE IT WITH
YOUR OWN TWO EYES, THIS IS WHAT
IT'S LIKE WHEN THERE IS
HIGH CO2, THIS IS WHAT IT'S
LIKE WHEN IT'S NOT.

The caption changes to “Doctor Jason Hall Spencer. Marine Biologist. Plymouth University, UK.”

Jason continues SO IT'S A WAY OF LOOKING INTO
WHAT THE WHOLE SYSTEM MIGHT LOOK
LIKE IN TEN YEARS TIME, OR
TWENTY YEARS TIME.

Alex says THE ACIDITY OF NEARBY WATERS.
AT THE BUBBLING SITES, ACIDIC
CONDITIONS ARE EXTREME,
FAR ABOVE WHAT IS EVER EXPECTED
TO OCCUR ACROSS
THE ENTIRE OCEAN.
BUT AS THE CO2 DISSOLVES, IT
CREATES A GRADIENT EFFECT.
JUST A FEW METERS AWAY CO2
CONCENTRATIONS REACH THE SAME
LEVELS THAT ARE EXPECTED
GLOBALLY IN 100 YEARS,
THEN 80 YEARS, 60, 40, AND SO
ON BEFORE EVENTUALLY REACHING
EQUILIBRIUM AND BACK TO PRESENT
DAY CONDITIONS.

An animation of the island appears. A close-up view shows semi circles that go from intense red to light pink. As they highlight one after the other, captions read “100 years, 80 years, 60 years, 40 years.”

Tyler says EACH SECTION OF THE
GRADIENT IS LIKE A WINDOW INTO
THE FUTURE AND SINCE 2007 JASON
HAS BEEN STUDYING VOLCANIC CO2
BUBBLING SITES TO TRY AND
UNDERSTAND WHICH SPECIES DIE
AND WHICH ONES CAN
SURVIVE IN A MORE ACIDIC OCEAN.

Alex, Tyler and Jason travel in a boat.

Jason says THAT'S WHAT I'M MOST
INTERESTED IN IS, WHAT THE
SURVIVORS ARE GOING TO BE GOING
THROUGH MY LIFETIME,
AND MY CHILDREN'S LIFETIME.
BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT WE ALL NEED
TO KNOW.
AS HUMANITY WE NEED TO
KNOW WHAT'S IN STORE FOR US.

Alex says WE ACCOMPANIED JASON
ON ONE OF HIS DAILY DIVES TO
SURVEY A CO2 BUBBLING SITE AND
COLLECT MARINE LIFE SPECIMENS
ACIDIFIED ZONES.

Underwater, Alex holds a bag waiting for Jason to finish collecting samples.

Jason says YOU CAN'T REALLY DO THESE
SORTS OF EXPERIMENTS IN TEST
TUBES OR IN FISH TANKS BECAUSE
THERE ISN'T LONG ENOUGH FOR
THOSE TEST TUBES AND FISH TANKS
TO BECOME LIKE THE ECOSYSTEM
IS GOING TO BE LIKE IN THE
FUTURE.
BUT HERE, GASES HAVE BEEN
BUBBLING OUT OF THE SEABED
FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS, SO IF
ANYTHING IS GOING TO ADAPT
OR SURVIVE IN THOSE CONDITIONS,
THIS IS A GOOD
PLACE TO COME AND SEE THAT.
NOW UNFORTUNATELY THOUGH WE'RE
SEEING THE FACT THAT SOME
THINGS HAVE ADAPTED AND DO
SURVIVE, BUT MANY, MANY
ORGANISMS ARE LOST, THEY CAN'T
STAND THESE HIGH CO2 CONDITIONS.

Tyler says FROM BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE
THE AFFECTED AREAS, JASON AND
HIS COLLEAGUES CAN MEASURE
OVERALL TRENDS AND CHANGES IN
BIODIVERSITY.
THEIR FINDINGS ARE
NOT POSITIVE.

Alex says WHAT ORGANISMS ARE YOU
WORKING WITH AND BRINGING
INTO THIS AREA TO TEST THEIR
VULNERABILITY?

Jason says THE MAIN ONE WE
STARTED WITH WAS CORALS,
BECAUSE THAT IS PRETTY
GEO-POLITICALLY IMPORTANT.
WILL CORAL REEFS SURVIVE IN THE
NEXT FEW DECADES GOING FORWARD?
AND IT LOOKS LIKE WHEN WE TAKE
MOST CORALS INTO THESE AREAS,
ALMOST ALL OF THEM CAN'T.
THERE'S A FEW THAT CAN, BUT
UNFORTUNATELY IF YOU COMBINE
INCREASED TEMPERATURES WITH
INCREASED CO2, THEN THAT MAKES
THE WATER VERY CORROSIVE
TO THESE ANIMALS AND THEY
SIMPLY DISSOLVE AWAY.

A team works near the shore leaving metallic boxes that collect sediments.

Tyler says ALTHOUGH CORAL REEFS
COVER LESS THAN ONE PERCENT OF
PERCENT OF ALL MARINE SPECIES
IN THESE HABITATS.
OVER HALF A BILLION PEOPLE
DIRECTLY BENEFIT FROM REEFS FOR
FOOD AND COASTAL PROTECTION.
THEIR ECONOMIC VALUE IS 375
BILLION DOLLARS
PER YEAR.

Alex says CORALS ARE PROBABLY
THE BIGGEST OF ALL THE DIFFERENT
ORGANISMS THAT SEEM TO BE
IMPACTED BY CHANGING ACIDITY,
CORALS WOULD HAVE TO BE THE ONES
WE HAVE TO BE
WORRIED ABOUT THE MOST.

Jason says ABSOLUTELY, BECAUSE
THEY'RE SO IMPORTANT FOR
PROTECTING THE SHORELINES FROM
BIG STORM WAVES, THEY'RE SO
IMPORTANT FOR HABITAT FOR MANY
SPECIES OF FISH.

Alex says IT WAS A SOBERING
THOUGHT TO REALIZE THAT ONE OF
ECOSYSTEMS ON EARTH COULD BE
LOST BY THE END OF THE
CENTURY.

Small blue fishes live in a coral reef.

Tyler says BUT SOME MARINE
SPECIES WILL ACTUALLY THRIVE IN
THESE MORE HOSTILE CONDITIONS.

Jason crouches in a platform. He collects jellyfishes and puts them in plastic bags with water.

Alex says SO JELLYFISH COULD DO
REALLY WELL IN A MORE ACIDIC
OCEAN?

Jason says ABSOLUTELY, THEY THRIVE
IN THESE CONDITIONS WITH
HIGH CO2.
YOU KNOW, THEY'RE NOT DYING OFF,
UNLIKE THE CORALS THEIR
SKELETONS DISSOLVE AWAY, THESE
DON'T HAVE SKELETONS, AND
THEY'RE PERFECTLY HAPPY AT HIGH
CO2; THEY ARE VERY
ROBUST ANIMALS.
IN FACT, THEY ARE BECOMING MORE
AND MORE PREVALENT AS THEIR
COMPETITORS HAVE BEEN REMOVED
FROM THE SYSTEM.
AS WE OVERFISH THE SEAS,
THERE'S LESS AND LESS FISH THAT
WOULD NORMALLY EAT THEM, THEY'RE
TAKING OVER.

Alex says SO A MORE ACIDIC
OCEAN WOULD BE A MUCH FRIENDLIER
OCEAN FOR JELLYFISH, AND THINGS
WE DON'T REALLY EAT I GUESS.

Jason says THAT'S EXACTLY IT.
WE'RE SWAPPING FOOD AND USEFUL
ORGANISMS WITH THINGS THAT ARE
INEDIBLE, NOT MANY PEOPLE WOULD
WANT TO EAT THESE JELLYFISH.
SOME PEOPLE DO, BUT THEY ARE NOT
AS PROTEIN RICH AS THE FISH AND
THE SHELLFISH AND THAT'S A MAJOR
CONCERN FOR FOOD SECURITY
WORLDWIDE.

Different species of jellyfish swim in deep waters.

Jason concludes IF WE ARE LOSING THOSE TYPES OF
ORGANISMS AND GAINING MORE AND
MORE OF THESE JELLYFISH, THAT
MEANS THE WHOLE SYSTEM IS
SCREWED UP BY THE INCREASE OF
CO2.

(guitar music plays)

Alex says SO WE JUST REACHED THE TOP
OF VULCANO AND AS YOU CAN TELL
FROM THE SULPHURIC VENTS, GOING
OFF BEHIND US, THIS IS
STILL VERY MUCH AN ACTIVE
VOLCANO.
IT HASN'T ERUPTED IN OVER A
HUNDRED YEARS, BUT
VULCANO IS ACTUALLY PART OF AN
ENTIRE VOLCANIC CHAIN OF
ISLANDS THAT STRETCHES ALL THE
WAY FROM SICILY IN THE
SOUTH, TO THE CITY OF NAPLES IN
THE NORTH, AND PROBABLY
THE MOST FAMOUS OF ALL THESE
VOLCANOES IS MOUNT VESUVIUS.
AND WHEN VESUVIUS
ERUPTED ON THE CITY OF POMPEII,
ITS CITIZENS HAD LITTLE TO NO
WARNING OF THE LOOMING DISASTER
RIGHT AT THEIR DOORSTEPS,
BUT IT'S KIND OF IRONIC
TO THINK THAT TODAY, THIS SAME
CHAIN OF VOLCANOES IS SENDING
US A CLEAR WARNING SIGN WITH
THOSE CO2 VOLCANIC VENTS,
A DISASTER THAT COULD TAKE MUCH
LONGER TO TAKE ITS FULL EFFECT,
BUT COULD INDEED HAVE A MUCH
MORE DESTRUCTIVE IMPACT.

Alex dives holding an underwater camera.

Jason says UNFORTUNATELY OCEAN
ACIDIFICATION IS NOT SOMETHING
THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE
FUTURE, IT IS SOMETHING THAT
HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.
THE TRAIN HAS ALREADY LEFT THE
STATION - WE'VE ALREADY
ACIDIFIED THE OCEANS.
I THINK WE HAVE A MORAL DUTY TO
LOOK OUT FOR THE SPECIES THAT
ARE OUT THERE.
EVEN IF WE CAN'T EAT THEM, EVEN
IF IT'S NOT A CHICKEN OR A PIG,
IT'S STILL A VALUABLE PART OF
THE PLANET'S SYSTEM.
I THINK WE ARE LEARNING TO OUR
COST THAT SOME OF THOSE
ORGANISMS THAT PERHAPS WE DON'T
RELY ON FOR FOOD, WE DO RELY
ON PERHAPS FOR OXYGEN OR
SOMETHING ELSE THAT IS VERY
VITAL TO THE WAY
THE ENTIRE PLANET FUNCTIONS.

Alex and Tyler stand by the sea.

Tyler says IT'S HARD TO PREDICT
EXACTLY HOW THE OCEAN WILL
BE IMPACTED BY SUCH RAPID
CHANGES TO ITS CHEMISTRY BUT
NO MATTER THE OUTCOME WE DON'T
WANT FUTURE GENERATIONS
WONDERING WHY WE DID SO LITTLE
WHEN WE WERE FULLY AWARE OF THE
CONSEQUENCES OF OUR ACTIONS.

Alex says OF COURSE, STOPPING OCEAN
ACIDIFICATION WON'T BE EASY BUT
WHAT OTHER CHOICE DO WE HAVE?
EVERYONE IS AFFECTED BY THE
HEALTH OF THE OCEAN AND WE ALL
HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO REDUCE
OUR CO2 EMISSIONS AND OUR
CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROBLEM
RIGHT NOW.

Tyler says JOIN US AND DIVE
DEEPER INTO THE EPISODES AT
THEWATERBROTHERS.CA

A slate with two blue illustrations of a diver reads “Dive Deeper into the episodes.” The “P” in deeper ends with an arrow.

(music plays)

The End Credits roll.

Executive Producer, Jonathan Barker.

Producer, Wendy Mackeigan.

Host, Director and Co-Producer, Tyler Mifflin.

Host, Writer and Co-Director. Alex Mifflin.

Produced in association with TVO.

An SK Films Production.

Copyright 2015 Water Brothers III Inc.

Watch: Acid Ocean