California coastal waters rising in   acidity

California coastal waters rising in acidity at alarming rate, study finds

California’s coastal waters are acidifying at twice the normal rate according to a study published Monday morning.

These findings come at a time when record amounts of emissions have already exacerbated the stress on the marine environment. When carbon dioxide mixes with seawater, it undergoes chemical reactions that increase the water’s acidity.

Ocean water is ordinarily slightly basic, or alkaline, but is becoming more acidic as it absorbs carbon dioxide. This can harm marine life, especially shellfish, because they struggle to make their shells in acidic waters.

“They are creating this super tight snapshot of what the ocean looks like for a month period of time,” said Dr. Osborne, a lead researcher on the study, published in Nature Geosciences, by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used a technique to measure acidification by studying the 100 year record of microscopic shells on the ocean floor. Osborne developed this method of measuring oceanic changes in acidification by accentuating the relationship between the shells and the acid levels in the ocean.

 

Photographer: Lars0001

 

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