One suggested way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is to pump it into the deep ocean, where proponents believe it would remain as a slurry-like hydrate. WHOI geobiologist Joan Bernhard and colleagues at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute tested whether high CO2 concentrations would harm single-celled sediment-dwelling organisms called foraminifera. They found that all the foraminifera with calcareous shells died, while organisms without shells maintained favorable survival rates--as indicated by their green tint in the floursecent optics images in the lower panel. Bernhard and her co-authors report their work suggests that if lots of CO2 is pumped to the deep sea floor, the shelled foraminifera "will face considerable challenges," and "survival of two major [non-shelled] groups of this prevalent protistan taxon will likely not be severely impacted."
(Photo courtesy of Joan Bernhard, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)