Oceans ‘turning acidic quickly’

In a new research, scientists at the University of Chicago, US, have documented that oceans are growing acidic faster than
previously thought.

In addition, they have found that the increasing acidity correlates with increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).

“Of the variables the study examined that are linked to changes in ocean acidity, only atmospheric carbon dioxide exhibited a corresponding steady change,” said J. Timothy Wootton, the lead author of the study and Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago.

The increasingly acidic water harms certain sea animals and could reduce the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide, according to the researchers.

Scientists have long predicted that higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide would make the ocean more acidic.

Nevertheless, empirical evidence of growing acidity has been limited.

The new study is based on 24,519 measurements of ocean pH spanning eight years, which represents the first detailed dataset on variations of coastal pH at a temperate latitude, where the world’s most productive fisheries live.

The Times of India, 25 November 2008. Article.

1 Response to “Oceans ‘turning acidic quickly’”

  1. 1 gattuso 26 November 2008 at 12:57

    The definition of “acidic” in the Oxford English dictionary is “having the properties of an acid; having a pH of less than 7”. This definition does not apply to un-manipulated seawater now nor in the foreseeable future. Hence, the adjective “acidic” should not be used. Note that there are some exceptions, for example in the immediate vicinity of CO2 vents.

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