Ocean acidification in the freezer

Over a century after the Discovery Expedition (1901-04), our understanding of the environments and ecosystems in the Southern Ocean is still limited. Research efforts have focused on warming and ice melt as the environment changes. Now a new challange has emerged – ocean acidification – a concept that could not even have been comprehended 110 years ago as the ph was only defined in 1909.

Schmidt D. N., & Ridgwell A. 2011. Ocean acidification in the freezer. Antarctic Science 23(5):417-417. Article (subscription required).

1 Response to “Ocean acidification in the freezer”

  1. 1 Doug Mackie 13 December 2011 at 10:19

    Understanding the concept of OA is independent of a knowledge of pH.

    pH is a way of expressing ‘acid strength’ but the idea that the relative strength of acids varies probably dates back to the first mineral acids of the alchemists. In 1909 people did not suddenly say: “Well thanks to Sorenson we now know pH exists and oh my goodness what about ocean acidification?”

    My pick for when an understanding of OA was first all put together is far more recent: 1957 Revelle & Suess.

    (And +10 points for remembering who, 70 years before that, first suggested acids were substances that released hydrogen ions).

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