Scientists to track acidification in Arctic Ocean

Scientists from the Geological Survey will embark next week on an expedition to monitor acidification trends in the Arctic Ocean linked to carbon emissions, the agency said.

The USGS scientists will spend seven weeks on a Coast Guard icebreaker, getting as close to the North Pole as possible to take water samples and test for chemical indicators of acidification, officials said.

Carbon emissions are blamed for altering the chemistry of the world’s oceans by making them more acidic, which makes it more difficult for fish and other sea life to grow and live.

The Arctic Ocean is considered especially vulnerable to acidification because of the cold temperatures and already-low level of calcium saturation, Lisa Robbins, a USGS oceanographer going on the trip, said in an interview.

The research is part of a U.S.-Canada Extended Continental Shelf Survey expedition that started last year to study little-understood areas of the Arctic, the USGS said.

Yereth Rosen, Reuters, 11 August 2011. Full article.

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