The adverse effects of climate change are visible to us all around. Right from heat waves to wildfires and severe storms, there are numerous avenues through which rapid climatic changes bring forth trouble in people’s lives. Now, a brand new research goes to show that the impact of a world, which is increasingly getting warmed up on a day to day basis, stretches all the way down to the bottom of the ocean. On 29th October, a study was published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It showed that high levels of carbon dioxide, which is a critical contributor to the warming climate of Earth, have made portions of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Southern Ocean extremely acidic in nature.
There was no one, who had ventured to the seafloor for conducting the study. Rather, the researchers who were led by Olivier Sulpis, McGill University’s graduate student in Montreal, simulated seafloor conditions inside a laboratory. Those simulations clearly showed that the mineral, which was one form of calcium carbonate known as calcite, has got replaced by sediments that were murky brown in colour. Calcite gets prepared from the skeletons and shells of marine organisms, which got laid down for more than millions of years. The loss of this mineral would represent more than just an aesthetic matter. The mineral simply acts as a chemical buffer. It helps to neutralize the carbonic acid that forms when carbon dioxide tends to seep through right from the atmosphere and into the ocean. This particular reaction also assists in preventing the complete acidification of seawater.
Calcite dissolves naturally on quite a large scale in the deep sea. Little more of it will not have much impact. Lead researcher, Olivier Sulpis said the depletion of calcite in a slow manner is not going to end in the near future. He said that even if the emissions of carbon dioxide had to end today, it would still take centuries for the excess Carbon Dioxide to stop the seafloor from getting dissolved. Sulpice even said that there are certain places on our planet where people have not yet explored. The deep sea is one such place.
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