Global ocean acidification data collated

Thursday 20th Nov 2014 by theWeather Club

Image: Projected rates of ocean acidification in 2100 (Credit: Tobias Friedrich/University of Hawaii - http://iprc.soest.hawaii.edu/users/tobiasf/Outreach/OA/Ocean_Acidification.html)

The world’s oceans are becoming acidified at a rate unseen in the past 300 million years, due to increases in carbon dioxide (CO2), but the rate of acidification is non-uniform across the globe. A new study, lead by Taro Takahashi from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has compiled 40 years of data on ocean acidification rates across the globe in order to set a baseline - or reference point - for all seas so that future acidification and its impacts can be better monitored.

Oceans take up roughly a quarter of the carbon dioxide produced by human activities and as a result are becoming highly corrosive to a number of organisms as acid destroys corals, dissolves shells and disrupts marine food webs. In turn, this can decrease coastal protection from storm surges and high tides.

Accurately exploring current seasonality and expected future rates of change has provided a dire warning about what the future may look like. For more information about the study, as well as a visualisation of ocean acidification rates from 1800, projected through 2100, please visit:

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/ocean-acidification-new-baseline-18351

http://iprc.soest.hawaii.edu/users/tobiasf/Outreach/OA/Ocean_Acidification.html