Acidification of Oceans Caused by Climate Change to Last Tens of Thousands of Years
Scientists working in the Arctic warn that the increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is not only warming the planet—it is also impacting the acidity of the ocean.
Members of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme say climate change has already raised ocean acidification, which would take tens of thousands of years for nature to reverse even if CO2 levels could be stemmed immediately.
As it stands, the average acidity of surface ocean waters is now about 30% higher than before the Industrial Revolution, experts estimate.
The increase in acidity could affect many ocean species, including commercially important fish, scientists say. They also predict major changes in the marine ecosystem in the years ahead, with some species being harmed, while others thrive.
Absorption of CO2 by the ocean is particularly acute in the freezing waters of the Arctic, where the summer melting of surface ice has exposed more of the sea to atmospheric CO2.
To Learn More:
Arctic Ocean 'Acidifying Rapidly' (by Roger Harrabin, BBC News)
Arctic Ocean Acidification Assessment: Key Findings (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme) (pdf)
Entrepreneur “Seeds” Ocean with 100 Tons of Iron Dust, Outrages Scientists (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)
Arctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Low (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
NASA Study: Arctic Warming Causing Ocean to Emit Harmful Methane Gas (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
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