Brighton Dolphin Project Drawing Competition Winners

Brighton Dolphin Project & Royal Pavilion & Museums launched a drawing competition to celebrate the launch of the OceanBlues website and National Marine Week.  

The competition was to draw any of our six Sussex marine mammals. We had lots of fantastic entries but our two winners were:

Up to 6 years: Austin Kempton aged 6, from Hove 
Seal on a rock above the sea by Austin Kempton aged 6
7-12 years: Arlo Kempton from Hove 
Seal on a sandy beach by the salty sea, by Arlo Kempton aged 9
Well done guys!

The Experiment

Making a Ocean acidification (pH) indicator

This experiment uses the natural properties of the humble red cabbage as a magic pH indicator. You can use it to test out the acidity of seawater (or any liquids) at home!

The magic of red cabbage 

Red cabbage contains pigments called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a group of pigments that change colour based on the pH of their environment, so using the juice of red cabbage we can transform the colour of any liquid based on its pH! Let’s get stuck in!

This experiment requires adult supervision

Written by Juliet Maxted, Zoology graduate & Booth Museum volunteer 

Find out more in Climate Conversations  a Royal Pavilion & Museums blog series on Climate Change and what we can do about it.

The Science

What is ocean acidification? 

Ocean acidification reduces the amount of carbonate in the sea, affecting organisms whose bodies are made of calcium carbonate (like animals with shells and hard exoskeletons). This includes, Molluscs (sea snails, mussels, octopus) ,Echinoderms (star fish and sea urchins), Crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, plankton and krill) and Corals.

common lobster©Paul NaylorSussex Wildlife Trust.JPG

If there isn’t enough carbonate these organisms won’t be able to form properly, which could be really bad news. This is already happening to the Dungeness crab in the Pacific Ocean. Not only are all these animals important in their own right, they are vital in maintaining a healthy ocean ecosystem. Corals create homes for 1 million marine species, and the other organisms (especially krill, plankton and molluscs) make up the base of the marine food web, supporting all life above them, right up to enormous whales.

Ocean chemistry 

Let’s break down the chemistry of ocean acidification. pH is measured on spectrum. The lower values (0-6) are acidic, 7 is neutral, and high values (8-12) are alkaline. Seawater currently has a pH of 8.1 making it slightly alkaline. As more carbon is stored in the sea, the pH drops, shifting it towards pH neutrality. When carbon dioxide enters the water, it bonds with water to create carbonic acid. This carbonic acid bonds with carbonate in the water creating bicarbonate. This is what makes the water more acidic and is how levels of naturally-occurring carbonate begin to fall, which is where the problems start.

In our experiment we will create a magic pH indicator which you can use to test the acidity of seawater (or any liquid at home) using the humble red cabbage. So let’s get stuck in!

Written by Juliet Maxted, Zoology graduate and Booth Museum volunteer

Find out more in Climate Conversations  a Royal Pavilion & Museums blog series on Climate Change and what we can do about it.

Kitchen ocean science

It’s not just plastics that are a threat to our  Oceans…

As part of the water cycle, our oceans regulate the amount of carbon in our atmosphere. You might have heard forests referred to as ‘the lungs of the earth’ (and they are very important), but the oceans store 16 times more carbon than terrestrial ecosystems, around 30% of carbon dioxide from human activity.

If too much carbon dioxide is stored in the ocean we see something called ocean acidification. But what is ocean acidification?  And how does it affect our oceans?

Here, we will discover the science behind ocean acidification and how you can  create an easy, and very cool, experiment at home turning red cabbage…

 From this…

To this!

 

 

The Science

The Science
What is ocean acidification?  Ocean acidification reduces the amount of carbonate in the sea, affecting organisms whose bodies are made ...
Read More

The Experiment

The Experiment
Making a Ocean acidification (pH) indicator This experiment uses the natural properties of the humble red cabbage as a magic ...
Read More

Find out more in Climate Conversations  a Royal Pavilion & Museums blog series on Climate Change and what we can do about it.

References:

https://www.noaa.gov/education/resource-collections/ocean-coasts/ocean-acidification

https://coastadapt.com.au/ocean-acidification-and-its-effects

https://www.iucn.org/resources/issues-briefs/ocean-acidification

https://www.opb.org/news/article/dungeness-crab-ocean-acidification-dissolve-shell/

 

Written by Juliet Maxted, Zoology graduate & Booth Museum volunteer