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Polar waters: the challenges of accelerated acidification


Roberts, D, Polar waters: the challenges of accelerated acidification, Climate Initiative - Catherine Brun, BNP Paribas Foundation, France, 17 May 2013, 1, Online (2013) [Media Interview]

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Dr Donna Roberts, an Australian scientist from the University of Tasmania, is head of the FOCE Antarctic project. In partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in California, she wants to evaluate the effects of the acidification of polar waters on marine organisms. A real challenge since the drop in pH, which is twice as rapid as elsewhere, could prefigure the future of the other oceans. She talks about her procedure. Why measure the effects of ocean acidification in Antarctica? Temperature is an important parameter in the oceans’ chemistry. CO2 is more soluble in cold waters. Exactly like champagne, which keeps its bubbles better in the refrigerator! Cold polar waters thus absorb the largest quantity of CO2 emitted by human activities. This means that the process of acidification of the marine environment is more significant at the poles: the pH changes twice as quickly here as in tropical and temperate waters. It is therefore crucial to evaluate the impact of this accelerated acidification on polar ecosystems. That is what we plan to do in Antarctica. Our observations will also enable us to predict what could happen in the rest of the world’s oceans if CO2 emissions continue to rise.

Item Details

Item Type:Media Interview
Keywords:Antarctic Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment Experiment
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Climate change impacts and adaptation
Research Field:Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Roberts, D (Dr Donna Roberts)
ID Code:89611
Year Published:2013
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LE130100220)
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2014-03-09
Last Modified:2014-06-10

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