Arctic Ocean is acidifying four times faster than other oceans

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have been shocked at the rate of change in seawater composition as the melting ice caps up CO2 and has “enormous consequences” for Arctic life.

The study showed that the Arctic Ocean is acidifying four times faster than the rest of the planet’s oceans.

This conclusion was reached by specialists from the Institute of Polar and Marine Research at Jimei University in China and the School of Marine Science at the University of Delaware in the United States, reports The Guardian.

The Arctic Ocean absorbs a third of all carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic region over the past three decades has accelerated the pace of long-term acidification, scientists explain.

“In other ocean systems, acidification is caused by an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, which is increasing at a rate of about two parts per million per year,” said Wei-Jong Tsai, a marine chemistry expert at the University of Delaware and one of the authors of the paper.

When scientists compared data collected in the Arctic between 1994 and 2020 with ocean basins elsewhere, they found that acidification in the Arctic is happening much faster.

“We were shocked to see that acidification occurs three to four times faster,” said Wei-Jun Tsai.

The researchers noted that changing the chemical composition of sea water would have “tremendous consequences” for marine life. This is evidenced by earlier work, which proves the harm of ocean acidification to coral reefs.

The scientists also warned that the increased acidity of seawater could affect many ecosystems and make some dissolved metals more toxic.

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