Climate change drives rapid decadal acidification in the Arctic Ocean

Human being is the most recent of the factors affecting the environment and has been so for a relatively short time

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Climate change drives rapid decadal acidification in the Arctic Ocean

Human being is the most recent of the factors affecting the environment and has been so for a relatively short time. Its influence began with the development of agriculture and the consequent deforestation of the woods to convert them into arable land and pastures, up to today with large greenhouse gas emissions: CO2 from industries and means of transport and methane in farms intensive and in rice fields.

According to the theory of global warming, or climate warming, man through his greenhouse gas emissions is responsible for much of the warming period that the Earth is going through today. A small minority of scientists, on the other hand, believe that the weight attributed to man on the climate is overestimated, considering the current phase of climatic warming as a natural phase opposite to the natural periods of climatic cooling.

The weight of human activities on the ongoing climate changes is considered preponderant by the consensus of the scientific community, even if the subject of a marginal scientific debate. Climate change as we have seen is threatening the ice of our planet with every passing month.

Climate change drives rapid decadal acidification in the Arctic Ocean

The Climate change drives rapid decadal acidification in the Arctic Ocean from 1994 to 2020 study, published on Science, explains: "The Arctic Ocean has experienced rapid warming and sea ice loss in recent decades, becoming the first open-ocean basin to experience widespread aragonite undersaturation.

However, its trend toward long-term ocean acidification and the underlying mechanisms remain undocumented. Here, we report rapid acidification there, with rates three to four times higher than in other ocean basins, and attribute it to changing sea ice coverage on a decadal time scale.

Sea ice melt exposes seawater to the atmosphere and promotes rapid uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide, lowering its alkalinity and buffer capacity and thus leading to sharp declines in pH and Ωarag. We predict a further decrease in pH, particularly at higher latitudes where sea ice retreat is active, whereas Arctic warming may counteract decreases in Ωarag in the future."