Ocean Acidification Poised To Radically Affect Arctic
If it isn't enough to now see the Arctic's sea ice melting at an unprecedented pace thus changing the face of a beautiful ethereal segment of our planet as well as our climate balance we now see a new threat emerging with potential far reaching effects for marine life and other species that depend on the intricate yet simple ecosystems of the Arctic to survive. According to a new report released by AMAP (Arctic Monitoring And Assessment Program) Arctic marine waters are "experiencing widespread and rapid ocean acidification." The report also goes on to state "the primary driver of ocean acidification is uptake of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere by human activities."
Arctic Ocean Acidification Assessment -Key Findings
Ocean acidification results from the transformation of rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere converting into carbonic acid in the oceans. This lowers the PH balance of the water making it harder for shellfish to form their shells and can also impair fish reproduction and other functions. With sea ice in the Arctic also melting rapidly the cold water absorbs the CO2 more readily than warm water which makes the Arctic extremely vulnerable to the effects of acidification.
The AMAP report revealed that the average acidity of surface ocean waters worldwide was now about 30% higher than at the start of the industrial revolution. "Arctic marine waters are experiencing widespread and rapid ocean acidification." "Ocean acidification is likely to affect the abundance, productivity and distribution of marine species, but the magnitude and direction of change are uncertain."
The Arctic had record breaking sea ice loss in 2012 and has started the current melt season briskly, surpassing 2012 melt at this time in the melt season. It is important to monitor these changes as we have also already seen 400PPM of CO2 registered in the Arctic in 2012. There is also now 40% more CO2 in the atmosphere than before the industrial revolution began which is linked to the burning of fossil fuels as corroborated by 97% of climate scientists who publish peer reviewed papers.
These effects also are seen in calcification rates, changes in food supply, pace of organism growth and changes in the food chain. This also then effects the culture, traditions and socio economic status of the indigenous people who have lived there for centuries. The report lays out ten key findings:
1: Arctic marine waters are experiencing widespread and rapid ocean acidification:
2: The primary driver of ocean acidification is uptake of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere by human activities:
3: The Arctic ocean is especially vulnerable to ocean acidification:
4: Acidification is not uniform across the Arctic Ocean:
5. Arctic marine ecosystems are highly likely to undergo significant change due to ocean acidification:
6. Ocean acidification will have a direct and indirect effect on Arctic marine life:
7. Ocean acidification impacts must be assessed in the context of other changes happening in Arctic waters:
8. Ocean acidification is one of several factors that may contribute to alteration of fish species composition in the Arctic:
9. Ocean acidification may affect Arctic fisheries:
10. Ecosystem changes associated with ocean acidification may affect the livelihoods of Arctic peoples:
AMAP also put out this informative video on Arctic acidification:
The report also goes on to explain that while some sea grasses may actually do better with acidification, other species may not, especially smaller fish as well as effects on the food chain as we see migration of species and perhaps even extinction of others. It is clear that we are now seeing rapid earth changing events taking place in he Arctic that will be irreversible if we do not step up to the task before us.
We need to now see politicians regardless of party working to address this rather than taking advantage of it and citizens holding them responsible regardless of party. Partisanship on this will solve nothing. However, as reports have also stated, countries such as the U.S., Canada, Russia, Norway, et.al are already staking their claim to the precipitously melting Arctic in order to exploit the vast resources that lay beneath it. This is not a solution to the climate change, pollution and acidification that now threaten not only the food chain of this fragile beautiful top of our world but ourselves and the other species we share our world with. This too is about humanity.
This is also a moral imperative and they must respond. Anything less is nothing short of a betrayal to us and our planet.
See more on ocean acidification:
Water Is Life: Ocean Acidification
Deniers/skeptics/people/politicians in the employ of fossil fuel companies, etc. get all verklempt as well with articles like this because they cannot refute it. It shows them for what they are- accomplices in the destruction of this planet due to greed and selfishness. The truth must prevail to take our planet back from them.