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Arctic Seas Are Becoming Acidic Rapidly Due to Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Research

May 7, 2013 11:21 IST

Scientists from Norway's Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in their report unveiled that the Arctic seas are becoming acidic rapidly because of carbon dioxide emissions. Widespread changes were observed in the ocean chemistry of Arctic.

The scientists explained that even if the carbon dioxide emissions stopped; it would still take thousands of years for the chemistry of Arctic Ocean to revert back to the pre-industrial levels.
A lot of creatures such as the commercially important fishes would be affected because of this. The scientists additionally forecasted that a lot of changes in marine ecosystem will also take place. But what these changes would be is hard to tell.

It is an already established fact that the carbon dioxide leads to warming of the plant, but it is not known to a lot of people that it also make the alkaline seas even more acidic when these seas absorb carbon dioxide from air. This absorption is faster in cold waters and therefore the Arctic sea is very vulnerable. It is worth noticing that the recent decrease in the summer sea ice exposed the sea surface to atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The vulnerability of Arctic is intensified because of the increasing flow of freshwater from the melting land ice and rivers. This is so because freshwater is not that effective at neutralising the acidifying effects of carbon dioxide.

Nordic Seas are other seas that are acidifying over range of depths, quickly in the surface waters as well as slowly in the deep waters.

The research team, while exploring the acidifying effects, monitored decreases in the seawater pH of around 0.02 per decade ever since late 1960s in Barents seas and Iceland. Acidification has also been observed in surface waters of Bering Strait as well as Canada Basin of the central Arctic Ocean.

Scientists observed that average acidity of ocean waters across the world is around 30 percent higher than what it was before Industrial Revolution.

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Read more Current Affairs on: Arctic Seas , Carbon Dioxide emissions

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