The results of a study along the west coast of North America shows acidified ocean water is widespread along the shoreline and is having devastating impacts on coastal species.
The three-year study of ocean currents was conducted along the California and Oregon coasts by researchers from Oregon State University.
Team member and marine ecologist Francis Chan said they found pH levels were among the lowest ever recorded in surface water in some spots (note: the lower the pH, the higher the acidity).
He said the results are concerning because it showed ocean acidification is no longer confined to deep water, but “had made landfall and is lapping up right on the shores.”
Chan says part of the reason why ocean acidification happens is because the oceans have absorbed so much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Global carbon dioxide levels have risen since the Industrial Revolution and reached a high point of 400 parts per million in our atmosphere last year — long considered a benchmark of irreversible damage.
“We’ve emitted so much carbon dioxide that enough of it is being absorbed in the ocean and is changing the very chemistry of the sea water,” he said.
Chan says ocean currents along the west coast are more vulnerable to change because they’re naturally more acidic (and have a higher baseline for carbon dioxide levels) than other bodies of water.
“Whatever carbon dioxide the…Read More