Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

Acidification of the Arctic Ocean 'unprecedented'

  • Written by  Olivia Edward
  • Published in Oceans
Acidification of the Arctic Ocean 'unprecedented'
01 Nov
2013
A new study has found that the Arctic Ocean is acidifying more rapidly and more widely than projected

A team of US scientists analysed data from three years of research cruises in the Arctic Ocean. The results indicated that the recent extreme melting of sea ice in the Arctic has led to higher than expected levels of acidification. As the sea ice melts, the underlying seawater becomes exposed to carbon dioxide, which dissolves in the water to form carbonic acid. To make matters worse, the increase in fresh water caused by the sea ice melting dilutes the sea water, lowering pH levels and reducing the concentrations of calcium and carbonate, which many marine micro-organisms use to form their skeletons and shells.

‘A remarkable 20 per cent of the Canadian Basin has become more corrosive to carbonate minerals in an unprecedented short period of time. Nowhere on Earth have we documented such large-scale, rapid ocean acidification,’ said the study’s lead author, Lisa Robbins of the US Geological Survey.

‘In the Arctic, where multi-year sea ice has been receding, we see that the dilution of seawater with melted sea ice adds fuel to the fire of ocean acidification,’ said one of the study’s co-authors, Jonathan Wynn of the University of South Florida.

This story was published in the November 2013 edition of Geographical Magazine

Related items

Subscribe and Save!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter today and get a FREE eBook collection!

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Geophoto

The British Isles are packed with natural landmarks that serve…

Geophoto

The prestigious photography awards to go on display in some…

Tectonics

The discovery of a slow-motion earthquake near Istanbul, which took…

Oceans

The 2014 to 2016 marine heatwave, which took place off…

Climate

Marco Magrini discovers that hydrogen is back, but hopefully not…

Wildlife

 A ten-year analysis of chimpanzees has revealed that the presence…

Wildlife

The return of the pine marten to UK forests has…

Energy

A project in Orkney is converting excess wind energy into…

Geophoto

Mountains provide a dramatic sight at the best of times,…

Wildlife

A surge in reports of dead hares has resulted in…

Oceans

Four scientists have banded together to make the case against the farming of octopuses, arguing…

Climate

As planetary oil consumption hits the 100-million-barrel mark Marco Magrini…

Oceans

A ship that ran aground early in February has been…

Wildlife

Two whale populations on either side of the African continent…

Geophoto

March traditionally heralds the beginning of spring, a time of…

Wildlife

An innovative project to utilise Laos’ elephant experts in service…

Polar

Despite common belief that Antarctica is vastly uninhabited, humans are…

Wildlife

Javan rhinos survived the recent Krakatoa tsunami, but the species…

Energy

As the world turns away from fossil fuels, one question…

Geophoto

The winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2018…