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Why plankton is the canary in the coal mine of our oceans | Aeon Essays
Earth’s oceans are beginning to warm and turn acidic, endangering plankton and the entire marine food chain
oceans  biodiversity  oxygen  acidification  carbon 
march 2018 by zesteur
Increased ocean acidification due to human activities | EurekAlert! Science News
Chu et al 2016, JGR The northeast Pacific, consisting of waters that flow from Alaska's Aleutian Islands to the tip of southern California, is considered somewhat of a climate canary -- sensitive to changes in ocean chemistry, and carbon dioxide in particular. The region sits at the end of the world's ocean circulation system, where it has collected some of the oldest waters on Earth and accumulated with them a large amount of dissolved inorganic carbon, which is naturally occurring carbon that has been respired by marine organisms over thousands of years.
The researchers found that since 2001, the northeast Pacific has stored 11 micromoles per kilogram of anthropogenic carbon, which is comparable to the rate at which carbon dioxide has been emitted into the atmosphere. Most of this carbon is stored in surface waters. In the northern part of the region in particular, anthropogenic carbon tends to linger in shallower waters, within the upper 300 meters of the ocean. The southern region of the northeast Pacific stores carbon a bit deeper, within the top 600 meters.

Chu says this shallow storage is likely due to a subpolar gyre, or rotating current, that pushes water up from the deep, preventing surface waters from sinking. In contrast, others have observed that similar latitudes in the Atlantic have stored carbon much deeper, due to evaporation and mixing, leading to increased salinity and density, which causes carbon to sink.
acidification  California  Climate_Science_study 
september 2016 by huntercutting

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