Ocean Acidification Impacts
by louismekhael on Septembre 30, 2017 - 7:31pm
Already damaging coral reefs, producing unexpected chemicals and causing other biological consequences, ocean acidification now affects phytoplankton. Princeton University researchers report that they take less iron which is a key nutriment needed for photosynthesis and growth which is bad for these tiny one-celled plants. The reason for that is that the water of the ocean becomes more acid when CO2 gets absorbed by the water. It is then converted to carbonic acid. According to William Sunda, a research chemist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association in Beaufort, North Carolina, a reflexion of the pH, the hydrogen ion concentration of surface ocean water is now approximately 30% bigger then 100 years ago. Moreover, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has risen of about 38%. The researchers have realized that little studies were done on the acidity changes and the central nutrients such as iron, so Dalin Shi, Francois M. M. Morel and associates decided to measure the uptake of iron. They observed a huge decrease in the rate of iron uptake and all the species. Indeed, the average iron uptake decrease by 10-20%. Then, the research team looked at the effect of iron uptake on 3 model chelators that possessed different chemicals: EDTA, DFB and azotochelin. These models diminished by EDTA and reduced a little by DFB, but stayed the same by azotochelin. Decline in phytoplankton population would be an accurate consequence of limited iron because of the acid in the ocean and this would result in a reduction in sea food for human consumption. If there is less iron, the phytoplankton won’t be able to nourish themselves properly so they won’t be able to change as much CO2 in oxygen and affect the food chain.