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Oceans turning acidic more quickly than expected

The oceans of the world hold a huge amount of life, and are seen as the life giver to the world. The oceans trap many greenhouse gases, provide food to vast communities, are a critical part of the world climate. However, the increasing emissions of greenhouse gases (especially Carbon Dioxide) have been seen as a major risk factor; the validity of this theory has been disputed for some time. Getting absolute proof of this theory is fraught with risk; exact climate models are so complex that modeling them leads to more controversy. The only proof is when this actually happens and that will be too late. Scientists have been studying this possible impact, and here is a news item that researches whether the acidic levels of the oceans increase:

WASHINGTON: In a new research, scientists at the University of Chicago, US, have documented that oceans are growing acidic faster than previously thought. In addition, they have found that the increasing acidity correlates with increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). “Of the variables the study examined that are linked to changes in ocean acidity, only atmospheric carbon dioxide exhibited a corresponding steady change,” said J. Timothy Wootton, the lead author of the study and Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago.
The ocean plays a significant role in global carbon cycles. When atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves in water it forms carbonic acid, increasing the acidity of the ocean. During the day, carbon dioxide levels in the ocean fall because photosynthesis takes it out of the water, but at night, levels increase again. The study documented this daily pattern, as well as a steady increase in acidity over time.


Human activity may be overwhelming the capacity of the system to respond. The increasing acid will start to have a negative effect on sea life, thus also impacting the food chain that is based out of the oceans, and this is bound to have a major effect on a large section of humanity. And given that emissions are not being capped or rolled back, there does not seem to be an easy way of reducing this acidic level of the ocean in the near future.

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