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Impact of Ocean Acidification

Impact of Ocean Acidification


  • Upwelling refers to the circular movement of ocean waters between the ocean surface and bottom layers Winds blowing across the ocean surface push water away.
  • Water from lower layers move upwards tc replace the water that has been pushed away. This process is known as `upwelling’.
  • Upwelling occur along with the reverse process called, Vownwelling.
  • Water that rises to the surface as a result of upwelling is typically colder and is rich in nutrients.
  • These nutrients ‘fertilise’ the surface waters, meaning that these surface waters often have high biological productivity.
  • Therefore, good fishing grounds are found in regions, where upwelling currents are strong.

Overall Impact of Ocean Acidification

Impact on Climate Change

  • Oceans are the reservoirs of CO2. Saturation of oceans due to the increasing concentration of CO2 wi further decrease the capacity of oceans to absorb CO2.
  • As a result, CO2 will increasingly accumulate is the atmosphere resulting in faster pace of climate change.

Impact on Marine Ecosystem

  • Marine organisms have low tolerance limit to any change in the environmental conditions.
  • Increase in CO2 will enhance the heat absorption capacity of ocean waters, thereby increasing the temperature ocean waters.
  • Ocean acidification leads to the acidic nature of ocean waters.                    Impact of Ocean Acidification
  • Many marine organisms would not be able to adapt to these changes leading to increase in the death of marine organisms, which would further lead to the growth of bacteria involved in the decomposition of organic matter.
  • Due to respiration by bacteria, CO2 level would enhance leading to further ocean acidification and loss of marine biodiversity.

Effect on Certain Species of Phytoplanktons

  • Phytoplanktons rely on the intake of CO2 during photosynthesis.                      Impact of Ocean Acidification
  • Increased availability of CO2 in ocean waters would increase the rate of photosynthesis contributing to the growth of phytoplanktons.

Acid Shock (Also Known as Acid Surge)

  • Sulfuric and nitric acids are added to the atmosphere from factory and vehicle emissions. These acids combine with rain, snow and fog and the precipitation becomes acidic.
  • This precipitation remains stored in the form of ice. Acid shock is caused when snow melts and acids that have been gathering in the snow are released into a body of water.
  • This sudden change in water chemistry is known as acid shock. Acid shock usually occurs in the month of spring following winters.

Environment & Biodiversity

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