Monday, June 5, 2017

Ocean pH drops on the West Coast

Pumping CO2 into the atmosphere doesn't just raise global temperatures.  It also lowers the pH of ocean waters, a process called "ocean acidification".  And this process is having notable and observable effects.

Acidified ocean water widespread along North American West Coast

An excerpt from the article:  the direct quote is from Francis Chan, oceanographer at Oregon State U., and the first author on the paper on which the article is based.

“The West Coast is very vulnerable. Ten years ago, we were focusing on the tropics with their coral reefs as the place most likely affected by ocean acidification. But the California Current System is getting hit with acidification earlier and more drastically than other locations around the world.”

A team of researchers developed a network of sensors to measure ocean acidification over a three-year period along more than 600 miles of the West Coast. The team observed near-shore pH levels that fell well below the global mean pH of 8.1 for the surface ocean, and reached as low as 7.4 at the most acidified sites, which is among the lowest recorded values ever observed in surface waters.

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