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Acidifying oceans set to heat Earth even more: Study

Last Updated: Monday, August 26, 2013 - 10:47

Washington: Biologists have found that our emissions of greenhouse gases are not just warming Earth but are also acidifying the oceans.

Acidification of oceans is threatening many marine organisms like corals and some marine snails` shells are already dissolving.

Previously it was believed that the problem just affected marine organisms and others who were dependent on them but new research has suggested that ocean`s acidification will rebound on Earth, by affecting phytoplankton.

These small plants produce dimethyl sulphide (DMS),which drifts up into the air and reflects sunlight back into space, and cools Earth as a result, it also makes clouds brighter.

Katharina Six of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, and her co-workers gathered experimental data which showed that phytoplankton produce less DMS when seawater becomes less alkaline.

After feeding these figures into climate models, the researchers estimated that 18 percent less DMS is going to be releases from the oceans in 2100, compared to preindustrial times.

If concentration of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doublesm, likely to happen later this century, temperatures could rise between 2 and 4.5 degree C.

Ocean acidification is going add between 0.23 and 0.48 degree C to that figure.


First Published: Monday, August 26, 2013 - 10:47

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