US Pacific Coast waters turns more acidic

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Washington, May 25 (UNI) There are high levels of acidified ocean waters within 20 miles of shoreline in the West Coast of North America.

This has been detected by a team of international scientists who have raised concern for marine ecosystems from Canada to Mexico, Science Daily reported.

Researchers have found corrosive, acidified water that is being ''upwelled'' seasonally from the deeper ocean probably 50-years-old, suggesting that future ocean acidification levels will increase since atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have increased rapidly over the past half century.

''When the upwelled water was last at the surface, it was exposed to an atmosphere with much lower CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels than today's,'' pointed out a researcher Burke Hales, adding ''The water that will upwell off the coast in future years already is making its undersea trek toward us, with ever-increasing levels of carbon dioxide and acidity.'' ''The coastal ocean acidification train has left the station,'' and there is not much we can do to derail it,'' he said.

Scientists have become increasingly concerned about ocean acidification in recent years, as the world's oceans absorb growing levels of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When that CO2 mixes into the ocean water, it forms carbonic acid that has a corrosive effect on aragonite -- the calcium carbonate mineral that forms the shells of many marine creatures.


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