Comprehensive Study Makes Key Findings of Ocean pH Variations
"Though many lab simulations of this effect have been performed recently, including at a new acidification laboratory in development at Scripps, there have been few comparable field studies. Using sensors recently developed at Scripps, the researchers surveyed marine ecosystems ranging from coral reefs in the South Pacific Ocean to volcanic CO2 vent communities in the Mediterranean Sea.
They found that in some places, such as Antarctica and the Line Islands of the south Pacific, the range of pH variance is much more limited than in areas of the California coast subject to large vertical movements of water known as upwellings. In some of their study areas, they found that the decrease in seawater pH being caused by greenhouse gas emissions is still within the bounds of natural pH fluctuation.
Some areas already experience daily acidity levels that scientists had expected would only be reached at the end of the 21st Century. "This study is important for identifying the complexity of the ocean acidification problem around the globe," said Scripps marine biologist Jennifer Smith."