Scientists have installed sensors at the Kachemac Bay to understand just how devastating ocean acidification is going to be.
Researchers are about to embark on a major project at the Kachemak Bay in Alaska as part of a critical project to monitor ocean acidification, and their findings could be critical in the battle against climate change. Researchers will use a system of five sensors to collect data, and they hope the results will provide answers on what kind of acidification happens near the shores, according to a KBBI report.
Scientists had been conducting ocean acidification monitoring in the open ocean, but scientists have been wanting to understand how this destructive process affects near-shore areas. Many species live in these environments and could be devastated by the process of acidification.
As part of this research, scientists will gather data on the organisms that live in the Kachemac Bay which can help them predict what organisms might be most at risk down the line. Ocean acidification refers to the process where seawater absorbs carbon dioxide, which causes chemical reations that reduce the pH in seawater. This in turns harms the ability of marine organisms to produce and maintain shells.
“When carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by seawater, chemical reactions occur that reduce seawater pH, carbonate ion concentration, and saturation states of biologically important calcium carbonate minerals,” states NOAA’s website on ocean acidification. “These chemical reactions are termed “ocean acidification” or “OA” for short. Calcium carbonate minerals are the building blocks for the skeletons and shells of many marine organisms. In areas where most life now congregates in the ocean, the seawater is supersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate minerals. This means there are abundant building blocks for calcifying organisms to build their skeletons and shells. However, continued ocean acidification is causing many parts of the ocean to become undersaturated with these minerals, which is likely to affect the ability of some organisms to produce and maintain their shells.”