On Top Of Sea Ice Death Spiral, Ocean Acidification Poised To Radically Alter Arctic

The Arctic is the fastest changing place on earth. The most obvious and important change is the staggering loss of sea ice (see “CryoSat-2 Confirms Sea Ice Volume Has Collapsed”).

In addition, “the Arctic marine waters are experiencing widespread and rapid ocean acidification,” a new study finds. This first-ever Arctic Ocean Acidification Assessment, commissioned by the Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), explains that the “primary driver of ocean acidification is uptake of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere by human activities.”

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We knew from a 2010 Nature Geoscience study that the oceans are now acidifying 10 times faster today than 55 million years ago when a mass extinction of marine species occurred. We are risking a marine biological meltdown “by end of century” as a 2010 Geological Society study put it.

As the lead author of a 2012 study on acidification in Science explained, “if industrial carbon emissions continue at the current pace, we may lose organisms we care about — coral reefs, oysters, salmon.”

Here is a video from AMAP on Arctic Ocean acidification:

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The Key Findings of the AMAP study are here.

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