Besides affecting flora and fauna, the human-induced global warming is also changing the nature of our oceans. Oceans absorb excess carbon and heat from the atmosphere and thus slow down the rise of global temperatures. Now, researchers at Princeton University have come out with a roadmap detailing the changes in the oceans as global warming increases. Changes like rise in ocean temperatures, acidification and a diminished capacity to absorb heat and carbon is already evident, say the researchers. But the rising warming level may gradually affect upper-ocean mixing, nutrient supply and cycling of carbon through marine plants and animals
These changes could take anywhere between 30 to 100 years to manifest. The ph levels of the oceans have already dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 and could further go down to 7.8. The roadmap has been made by studying physical and chemical properties of the ocean waters for the past 30 years. The study reconfirms that the changes in the ocean due to anthropogenic emissions and not because of natural variations. Earlier studies have found that increased acidification could dramatically affect the phytoplankton population. This, in turn, would affect the marine ecosystem that produces oxygen and reduces atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
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