I have collected a couple of interesting news articles and interviews over the past few weeks, and now it's time to share with those of you who haven't seen them. I'm posting what I found the most interesting excerpts, follow the links if you want to read the rest.
First up, an interview on SciencePoles with Dr. Agneta Fransson, chemical oceanographer at the Norwegian Polar Institute, called Explaining ocean acidification and consequences for Arctic marine ecosystems:
Are Arctic waters more susceptible to ocean acidification compared to the rest of the world’s oceans? If so, why?
The Arctic Ocean has had high concentrations of CO2 dissolved in it since historical times. This is due to physical processes such as cooling of the relatively fresh surface water, which causes this surface water to sink below the surface towards the bottom of the ocean. When this colder, denser water sinks, it sequesters atmospheric CO2 in the Arctic Ocean. So this results in the Arctic Ocean having a much lower pH and concentrations of carbonate ions (CO32-) compared to other oceans of the world.
The water in the Arctic is also colder. Since CO2 is much more soluble in cold water than it is in warm water, this makes it easier for the ocean to take up more CO2. In addition, as sea ice cover continues to retreat in the Arctic, there will be more open water, which may allow for more direct CO2 uptake into the ocean, and further lowering the ocean’s pH. And, as I mentioned earlier, freshwater influx from rivers empyting into the Arctic ocean, along with melting sea ice, also contribute to lowering the pH of the ocean.
The interview fits in well with this article on other work by the Norwegian Polar Institute that was placed on the website of the Fram Centre. This research is extremely important as ocean heat flux is one of the most influential, but nonetheless relatively poorly understood, factors concerning Arctic sea ice loss.
The article is called New data on Atlantic inflow to the Arctic Ocean reveal effects on sea ice and marine ecosystems: