Due to the fact that the oceans continually absorb the emission of carbon dioxide produced by the high level of pollution, they are becoming more and more acidic. The acidification of the oceans is affecting the marine ecosystem, especially the phytoplankton population.
According to a new study conducted by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the increasing levels of ocean acidification are seriously hurting the plankton population of our oceans. The researchers have run a few tests to determine the effects of global warming and how they affect our planet. One of their tests involved studying the effects of ocean acidification and its impact on the oceans’ ecosystem. according to their studies, the oceans have absorbed more than 30% of the CO2 emissions that we have released into the atmosphere.
The scientists explained why ocean acidification is extremely bad for the ecosystem. They said that because the oceans are constantly absorbing the emissions of carbon dioxide in a slow but consistent manner, the pH levels of the oceans go up. A higher pH affects many of the microorganisms that live in the oceans, putting their life in danger. Because the plankton population is not accustomed to the higher level of pH, it will suffer from this increase.
The scientists fear that many species of phytoplankton will become oversaturated by the emissions of carbon dioxide and will start dying out, which will lead to a massive drop in the population of plankton. The same study showed that there are certain species of plankton that would actually thrive if the levels of pH in the oceans would go up. However, this also has negative effects because these particular species of plankton have a different role in the ecosystem and would become invasive in their population grew.
According to the experts, losing plankton population is worse than it sounds. Plankton plays a very important role in the ecosystem of our oceans because it is a source of food for many marine creatures. Because plankton is at the bottom of the food chain, it is responsible for feeding everything that lives in the oceans. If plankton disappears, all the marine creatures would suffer greatly.
Previous studies have shown that plankton releases aerosols which help our planet stay coolers. If plankton would die out, Earth would be even warmer than it is at the moment.
Image Source: climateinterpreter