A big, blue, acid ocean

Our deep blue has always been engulfed in a rich and remarkable legacy. After all, its Portuguese name “pacifico” was chosen by explorer Ferdinand Magellan to mean peaceful, steady, pacific. But such times are quickly changing.

The Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, as a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has affirmed that the oceans are truly the prisoners of our pollution– adapting to increasing carbon-dioxide emissions by swallowing one-fourth of them. But it’s our beloved Pacific shore that seems to be bearing the brunt of these burdens. An NOAA funded study shows the growing acidity of waters within 20 miles of the coastline. Even more thought-provoking: in a little over 10 decades, the acidity is expected to increase over 100 percent.

Mankind will do anything to displace the blame—we’ll call the statistics outrageous, improbable. We’ll accuse scientists of overly-active imaginations and label their documentaries as mystical, make-believe tales. I am, for the most part, an easily convinced individual, but I do understand that there can be some incidents in which the “evidence” is overly amplified, and the numbers seem to be rounded a few too many place values up. Nevertheless, I do feel that there must be some elements of truth behind the figures presented, especially if they are given by an association devoted to predicting ocean trends and are directly linked to our ever-increasing effects on the environment.

Henna Hundal, Turlock Journal, 11 October 2011. Full article.

1 Response to “A big, blue, acid ocean”

  1. 1 Jean-Pierre Gattuso 12 October 2011 at 15:51

    The terminology used in this article is not scientifically accurate. The definition of “acidic” or “acid” in the Oxford English dictionary is “having the properties of an acid; having a pH of less than 7″. Despite the process of ocean acidification, the oceans are alkaline and are not acidic (pH lower than 7) now and will not become acidic in the foreseeable future. Hence, the adjective “acidic” should not be used. Note that there are few exceptions, seawater can be acidic in the immediate vicinity of CO2 vents or in purposeful perturbation experiments.

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