A group of researchers, led by scientists from the University of East Anglia, found that high atmospheric acidity destabilizes the ocean ecosystem.
The first study on the effect of acidity on the transport of nutrients to the ocean shows that the way nutrients are delivered affects the productivity of the ocean and its ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.
According to researchers, since industrialization, as a result of an increase in atmospheric acidity, the amount of phosphorus in the oceans has increased by 14%, and iron by 16%. This affects the nutritional conditions of marine phytoplankton, which are the most important organisms for the ecosystem.
Alex Baker, professor of sea and atmospheric chemistry at the UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences, said that the emissions of pollutants caused significant changes in the acidity of the atmosphere, leading, for example, to acid rain.
The authors concluded that due to the high acidity of the atmosphere, nutrients in the ocean are distributed unevenly, which means that some phytoplankton species receive more food than others. The result is an imbalance in the oceanic ecosystem. Now its consequences may not be so noticeable, but they will seriously affect the global picture.