As Arctic Melts, Its Ocean Is Acidifying Rapidly

As predicted by chemistry, change in the Arctic Ocean is accelerating as temperatures warm faster than the global average, as the sea ice melts, delivering more fresh water farther into the northernmost ocean (which dilutes its ability to neutralize acid), and as we continue blasting an ever increasing quantity of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, reports Julia Whitty at Mother Jones. As the melt exposes more open water, more atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves into it, acidifying the water.   The result? A new report notes that the Arctic ocean is acidifying rapidly and unevenly. Arctic food webs tend to be short, simple, and often dependent on keystone species such as sea butterflies and sea urchins. Such shelled species are harmed by acidification, which makes it difficult for them to build their protective shells. Acidification slows the growth of many species, and often harms their juvenile and larval stages. Mammals and birds may be indirectly affected if their food sources are harmed.  This could also damage human fisheries. The big news is, carbon dioxide emissions are caused big changes fast in the Arctic, and few of them will be good.

 

 

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

 

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte

 

Source

On Top Of Sea Ice Death Spiral, Ocean Acidification Poised To Radically Alter Arctic see also Arctic Ocean ‘acidifying rapidly’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22408341

Arctic Ocean ‘acidifying rapidly.’ Scientists from Norway’s Center for International Climate and Environmental Research monitored widespread changes in ocean chemistry in the region. They say even if CO2 emissions stopped now, it would take tens of thousands of years for Arctic Ocean chemistry to revert to pre-industrial levels. BBC

Ten key findings from a rapidly acidifying Arctic ocean. As predicted by chemistry, change in the Arctic Ocean is accelerating as temperatures warm faster than the global average, as the sea ice melts, as northern rivers run stronger and faster, and as we continue blasting an ever increasing quantity of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Mother Jones May 9th TDC http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/05/arctic-ocean-rapidly-getting-more-acidic

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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