Bermuda data shows oceans are becoming more acidic

Data collected from Bermuda’s waters is being used to track the effects of ocean acidification.

In a paper recently published by the journal Biogeosciences, a team of scientists from Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) and Scripps Institute of Oceanography used data collected near Bermuda to demonstrate the impact of ocean acidification.

The ocean naturally absorbs around a third of carbon dioxide found in the air, but with carbon dioxide levels in the air rising, the ocean is absorbing more.

Over time, this leads to the ocean water becoming increasingly acidic.

The research team, led by BIOS interim director Nicholas Bates, compiled more than four decades of ocean observations to create the longest running time series of seawater chemistry from anywhere in the global ocean.

Dr Bates said: “Such records provide critically needed data showing that such changes in ocean chemistry are due to the release of human produced CO2 and its absorption by the global ocean.”

The data can be used to determine the potential impact of ocean acidification on marine life and ecosystems, and information collected locally is used by governments and organisations internationally to address this issue.

Owain Johnston-Barnes, The Royal Gazette, 26 July 2012. Article.

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