Deep-Sea News

Deep Oceans May Acidify Faster Than Anticipated Due to Global Warming

Ocean acidification is generally thought to diminish the deeper down you go, but according to a new article in the journal Nature Climate Change, a “slowing down of the thermohaline circulation due to global warming could reduce the pH in the deep oceans, as more organic material would decompose with a longer residence time.”

A team led by researchers from National SunYat-sen University in Taiwan showed that “deep waters in the Sea of Japan are undergoing reduced ventilation, reducing the pH of seawater. As a result, the acidification rate near the bottom of the Sea of Japan is 27% higher than the rate at the surface, which is the same as that predicted assuming an air-sea CO2 equilibrium. This reduced ventilation may be due to global warming and, as an oceanic microcosm with its own deep- and bottom-water formations, the Sea of Japan provides an insight into how future warming might alter the deep-ocean acidification.”

Source: Nature Climate Change 7, 890–894 (2017) / doi:10.1038/s41558-017-0003-y

To read the full research paper, click here.

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