A threat to North Pacific

WASHINGTON | Of all the oceans in the world, the North Pacific could be the most vulnerable to acidification.

As the oceans’ deepest waters circulate around the globe, they eventually arrive in the North Pacific, where they rise near the surface before plunging deep again to continue their global journey. When the water arrives in the North Pacific, it is already acidic from the carbon produced by decaying organic material during its 1,000-year journey from the North Atlantic through the Indian Ocean and across the Pacific, said Richard Feely, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle.


As it surfaces in the North Pacific, the water absorbs even more carbon dioxide from the air. Cold water absorbs more carbon dioxide than warm water does.

“The older water is in the Pacific. The newer water is in the Atlantic,” Feely said. “There’s 10 percent more carbon dioxide in the Pacific than in the Atlantic.”

Corrosive water 600 to 700 feet deep already has been detected off the continental shelf of Washington state, Oregon and Alaska, Feely said.

“It’s butting right up against the coast,” he said. “The concern is when it gets to the continental shelf, what it will do to the fisheries.”

Les Blumenthal, KansasCity.com, 15 December 2007. Article.


				
  • Search

  • Categories

  • Tags

  • Post Date

Subscribe to the RSS feed

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,408,702 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book


%d bloggers like this: