Increase in ocean acidification thins shells

Increase in Carbon dioxide emanations have resulted in an increase in the acidification of oceans. This in turn has brought about an adverse impact on some sea creatures as their ability to create shells has been marred.

The continuing decline in the pH of the Earth’s oceans, caused by their uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is termed as Ocean acidification. Foraminifera work as transportation agents by trapping carbon dioxide and moving it to the ocean depths.

A team led by Andrew D. Moy and William R. Howard of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Center in Hobart, Tasmania conducted a study in the Southern Ocean and found that the present day shells were lighter vis-a-vis shells of the same species of periods prior to the industrial age.

Howard described the impact of the presence of Foraminifera. He said, “Their presence and production helps facilitate the sinking of organic matter from the surface layers of the ocean into the deep ocean. That translates into the transfer of carbon from the atmosphere into the deep ocean. If these organisms are not calcifying as much it may translate into a reduction in the carbon transfer from the atmosphere.”


Jamie Anderson, The money Times, 11 March 2009. Full article.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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