preview

Carbon Dioxide Intake of Oceans

Good Essays
INTRODUCTION The level of carbon dioxide has increased tremendously over the past few years by nearly 40%, that is from approximately 280ppm in preindustrial times to 384ppm in 2007(Solomon et.al 2007). Nearly one third of anthropogenic carbon dioxide is being absorbed by the oceans today(Science Daily, May 24, 2008) . Uptake of carbon dioxide by the oceans is not a harmful phenomenon , but excess of it leads to a reduction in pH thereby altering the fundamental seawater chemistry, commonly known as ocean acidification . This rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide is mainly due to anthropogenic activities such as burniig of fossil fuels , chopping and burning down tropical forests for new agricultural lands and tourism purposes,etc. are taking place at large scales , thereby releasing enormous amounts of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere.The total human carbon dioxide emissions amounts to approximately 560 billion tons.(ref paper 1). Currently , the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide is 30 times faster than in the past, at present the levels are higher in comparision to several million years.(REF PAPR 1 nthr ref is mentd too). Studies show that increase in the carbon levels is also due to volcanic vents present in the ocean but these amount to less than 0.5% of anthropogenic emissions ( lters ref). Ultimately this increased acidity can hamper marine organisms and the calcification process which some of the organisms use to form calcium carbonate and skeletal structures. Organisms ranging from corals to the most important bacteria responsible for earth’s climate are known to be under threat due to acidification.( Science Daily, march 31, 2010). Oceans function as a sink that take up half of carbon dioxide emitted by hum... ... middle of paper ... ...lgae are facing threats all throughout the world- nutrient pollution, predation ,over fishing , pest outbreaks deadly bleaching followed by warmer sea temperatures. Ocean warming and climate change has caused a sluggish coral growth since 1990. There has been a 10- 50 decrease in the calcification rate of reef building corals and coralline algae. The Great Barrier Reef , the world’s largest coral system and the reefs in the Pacific ocean have been disintegrating due to increase in temperature and acidification.(REF – MARKED WD A STAR). Studies show that the coral growth is indeed slowing down over a huge range at many reefs mostly due to increased acidity along with increase in temperature. Data how that the growth and calcification of porite corals in the Great Barrier reef are already declining at a much faster rate than 400 years ago. .(REF – MARKED WD A STAR).
Get Access