Study on Fast Melting Arctic Ice and ocean acidification.

3 October 2022.


Rapid melting of Arctic Ice is contributing the fast-paced acidification of ocean.


  • An international team of researchers have found that acidity levels in the Arctic Ocean’s western region are raising 3 to 4 times faster than any other oceans across the world.
  • The research team has found a concrete link between the high rate of melting ice and the rate of ocean acidification.
  • Ocean absorbs a third of all the atmospheric carbon dioxide.
  • The fast-paced melting of sea ice in the Arctic over the past few decades have exposed the seawater to absorb more carbon dioxide, resulting in the increasing rate of long-term acidification.
  • The research forecasted that by 2050, Arctic Sea Ice may not be able to the survive the increasingly hot summers, resulting in the acidification of ocean.
  • Acidification of ocean can threaten marine population and its dependents like polar bears.
  • Normally, the seawater is alkaline with pH of around 8.1.
  • Now, the pH is rapidly decreasing as melting sea ice changes surface water in three primary ways.
    • Water under the sea ice, which has little carbon dioxide, is exposed to the atmosphere, leading to fast-paced absorption of the greenhouse gas.
    • Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is concentrated at the surface since seawater mixed with meltwater has low density and is incapable of easily mixing with the deeper waters.
    • Meltwater dilutes the carbonate ion concentration in the seawater, hindering its capacity to neutralize the carbon dioxide into bicarbonate and accelerating the ocean acidification.

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