Ocean acidification at high latitudes: The Bellweather

Owing to anthropogenic-induced acidification, surface waters of the high latitudes are projected to become persistently undersaturated with respect to aragonite as early as mid-century. Seasonal aragonite undersaturation in surface and shallow subsurface waters of some northern polar seas has already been observed. Calcified marine organisms, including thecosomatous pteropods, foraminifers, cold-water corals, sea urchins, molluscs, and coralline algae, make up significant components of the rich communities in high latitudes, and they are thought to be at risk with increasing ocean acidification. Over the next decades, trends of rising temperatures and species invasions coupled with progressive ocean acidification are expected to increasingly influence both planktonic and benthic marine communities of Antarctica and the Arctic. The rate and magnitude of these changes underscore the urgent need for increased efforts in ocean acidity research and monitoring in polar and subpolar seas.

Fabry,V.J., McClintock, J.B., Mathis, J.T., & Grebmeier, J.M., 2009. Ocean acidification at high latitudes: The Bellweather. Oceanography 22(4): 160-171. Article.

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