The same things that make Alaska's marine waters among the most productive in the world may also make them the most vulnerable to ocean acidification. According to new findings by a University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist, Alaska's oceans are becoming increasingly acidic, which could damage Alaska's king crab and salmon fisheries. This spring, chemical oceanographer Jeremy Mathis returned from a cruise armed with seawater samples collected from the depths of the Gulf of Alaska. When he tested the samples' acidity in his lab, the results were higher than expected. They show that ocean acidification is likely more severe and is happening more rapidly in Alaska than in tropical waters.
Over the last decade, scientists have been focusing on the impacts of ocean acidification. Since, efforts are being strengthened to monitor ocean acidification worldwide, it is currently impossible to predict exactly how ocean acidification will impact throughout the marine food chain and affect the overall structure of marine ecosystems. Ocean acidification is accelerating, scientists, resource managers, and policymakers recognize the urgent need to strengthen science as a basis for sound decision making and action to save the oceans. The more acidic conditions affect many of the sea creatures in various ways. Calcification, the process which results in the formation of calcium carbonate structures in marine organisms is interrupted by ocean acidification. Ocean acidification shifts the equilibrium of carbonate chemistry in seawater, decreasing the rate and amount of calcification among a wide range of marine organisms, meaning their skeletons will not be formed properly. This can cause the organisms to become weak and decrease their chances of survival.
Acidification of the Oceans Better known as the other CO2 problem; ocean acidification, is the increase in acidity of the oceans due to vast amounts of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. An increase in the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is resulting in increased amounts of carbon dioxide being dissolved into the oceans. Our ocean is made of many beautiful, aquatic marine animals. Us, as humans, are creating many of the problems within the ocean. Aquatic sea creatures are dying because of our lack of interest in the ecosystem.
For more than years, or since the industrial revolution, the concentration of carbon dioxide CO 2 in the atmosphere has increased due to the burning of fossil fuels and land use change. The ocean absorbs about 30 percent of the CO 2 that is released in the atmosphere, and as levels of atmospheric CO 2 increase, so do the levels in the ocean. When CO 2 is absorbed by seawater, a series of chemical reactions occur resulting in the increased concentration of hydrogen ions.