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.