A recent study claims that ocean acidification is destroying plankton. The phytoplankton is incredibly important for the Earth’s protection against high temperatures. And the microorganisms are now in great danger of disappearing because of high increase in the ocean acidification.
According to a new study, oceans are responsible for absorbing about 30 percent of all the carbon dioxide in the world made by humans, and the carbon is locked in the oceans for a very long time. The acidity of the oceans has grown because of the very high levels of carbon dioxide emissions in the last century. The pH of the oceans has dropped to 8.1 from 8.2 and, on top of this, could drop even further to a 7.8 by the year 2100. The report claims that this decrease would be very significant for the communities of animals in the oceans.
Scientists from the University of Alabama, MIT and others have discovered that the increase in acidification would have a great impact on phytoplankton, which are organisms that form green globs on the surface of the oceans and function as food for whales. New studies have also revealed that the microorganisms release aerosols that impact the cloud cover in a good way, helping the clouds deflect more of the sun’s light and, thus, creating an effect of cooling around the Earth. This makes them incredibly important for all life on the planet.
The study came to the conclusion that ocean acidification is destroying plankton and it will happen by the year 2100. This will kill a lot of phytoplankton species and help other thrive, which will result in an imbalance within plankton species.
Researchers looked at numerous drivers of climate change, such as lower supplies of nutrients and warming temperatures. However, they discovered that out of all those factors, ocean acidification will have the highest impact on the tiny creatures.
The principal research scientist from MIT in the Center for Global Change Science, Stephanie Dutkiewicz said that she was astonished by the results of the study, and that the discoveries show that we are going to face a heavier upheaval of phytoplankton. She said that the warming waters and the acidification in the oceans could disrupt the population of phytoplankton all over the world and will also have a huge impact on the animals that rely on the tiny organisms for food.
The study was published in the Nature Climate Change journal.
Image Source: estuaries.noaa.gov