Scientists in Alaska are undertaking an ocean acidification study that could have big implications on our understanding of climate change.
Researchers in Alaska are conducting some significant work in Alaska right now that could lead to breakthroughs in our understanding of climate change, and how it will affect the devastating phenomena of ocean acidifications. Researchers have embarked on a project to install a system of five sensors in the Kachemak Bay that may tell us what marine life is most at risk of devastation, or even extinction.
A KBBI report describes the operation, which is focused on the near shore areas rather than the open ocean like most such projects. Scientists see this near shore study has critical to understanding just how far reaching the damage is of ocean acidification.
Scientists will also get data on organisms in the Kachemac bay that may help them understand what organisms are most at risk from ocean acidifcation, which is when the seawater absorbs carbon dioxide and then creates chemical reactions that lower the levels of pH in the water. Water that has pH levels that are too low make it impossible for marine organisms to maintain and manufacture the shells they need for survival.
“When carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by seawater, chemical reactions occur that reduce seawater pH, carbonate ion concentration, and saturation states of biologically important calcium carbonate minerals,” reads the NOAA website on ocean acidification. “These chemical reactions are termed “ocean acidification” or “OA” for short. Calcium carbonate minerals are the building blocks for the skeletons and shells of many marine organisms. In areas where most life now congregates in the ocean, the seawater is supersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate minerals. This means there are abundant building blocks for calcifying organisms to build their skeletons and shells. However, continued ocean acidification is causing many parts of the ocean to become undersaturated with these minerals, which is likely to affect the ability of some organisms to produce and maintain their shells.”