Inevitable Southern Ocean Acidification Tipping Point Approaches

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 11 March 2019



Inevitable Tipping Point Approaches

Ocean Acidification since 1700
Ocean Acidification since 1700, Global Ocean Data Analysis Project, by Plumbago.
Estimated Change in Seawater pH caused by human CO2 from 1700 to 1990s from Global Ocean Data Analysis Project, from Wiki by Plumbago


A Fatal Horizon, Driven by Acidification, Closes in on Marine Organisms in Southern Ocean,
University of Colorado at Boulder, March 11, 2019.


Mechanism of Destruction
"Acidification occurs when oceans absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) created by burning fossil fuels. The absorption alters the water's chemistry, lowering its pH and reducing the amount of available carbonate, which microorganisms like corals and pteropods use to construct their calcium carbonate shells."

Marine Collapse Coming
“ current carbon dioxide emission rates, the depth at which some shelled organisms can survive (in the Southern Ocean) will shrink from an average of 1,000 meters today to just 83 meters by the year 2100, a drastic reduction in viable habitat.”

A Quick Collapse
“...could happen suddenly over a period as short as one year in localized areas, could impact marine food webs significantly and lead to cascading changes across ocean ecosystems, including disruptions of vital global fisheries.”

Loss of Depth
"In the future, a pocket of corrosive water will sit just below the surface, making life difficult for these communities of primarily surface-dwelling organisms."

Already Happening
"This study shows that our current carbon dioxide emission rates are influencing not only the chemistry of the Southern Ocean but its food web structure as well."

Already Happening: Bigger Changes Soon
“While the individual simulations of the model differed on the timing of the threshold change--with some predicting it as early as 2006 and others as late as 2038--the research suggests that the change may be an inevitability in large regions of the Southern Ocean regardless of future mitigation efforts.”

Too Late
"If emissions were curbed tomorrow, this suddenly shallow horizon would still appear, even if possibly delayed,...And that inevitability, along with the lack of time for organisms to adapt, is most concerning"


Grim Prognosis for World’s Oceans

Global Warming Killing Phytoplankton, Breaking the Planatary Engines of Life

Ocean Acidification Melting the Damn Floor of the Sea!

Lobotomizing the Web of Life: Coral Escape Limits

“Cascading loss of Biodiversity”


More 'losers' than 'winners' predicted for Southern Ocean seafloor animals


Supercomputer Video
The Southern Engine of Global Ocean Circulation

Antarctic Ocean Circulation Video




Oceans, Water, Ice, & Fish News, Winter of 2019


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 ocean acidification, Southern Ocean, terminate, majority, of, shellfish, range, depth


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