Arctic Ocean Acidifying Rapidly - Phytoplankton Is The Only Solution

Arctic Ocean Acidifying Rapidly – Phytoplankton Is The Only Solution

The life, vitality, and treatment of such an important ocean and planetary ecosystem, we are so horribly poisoning, ought not to be left to chance.

Reports from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) which has monitored widespread changes in ocean chemistry in the region since the 1960’s show the increasingly ice-free Arctic seas are being made rapidly more acidic by carbon-dioxide emissions. Phytoplankton provide the only hope for neutralizing ocean CO2.

The ocean (AMAO) boffins say, “even if CO2 emissions stopped now, if we do nothing it would take tens of thousands of years for Arctic Ocean chemistry to revert to pre-industrial levels. Countless species of ocean life, including vital plankton and commercially valuable fish, will be afflicted.”

The scientists gathered at a luxurious ocean science guild confab in Bergen Norway this week are proclaiming the crisis in the Arctic via the presentation of scores of papers and statements calling for more research funding.

What they are leaving out are some of the most simple and important facts about oceans and CO2. There are practical and affordable ocean pasture stewardship options that may help prevent the disaster they forecast and only propose if funded they will stand and watch it die.

It is well-known that CO2 warms the planet, but less well-known is that it also makes the alkaline seas more acidic when it is absorbed from the air. Absorption is particularly fast in cold and less salty water so the Arctic is especially susceptible, and the recent decreases in summer sea ice have exposed more sea surface to atmospheric CO2.

Given the enormous dose of fossil CO2 already released into the world’s atmosphere what ought to be first and foremost is the antidote. By what means can this already lethal CO2 overdose might be treated. The solution may be partially coming in the very mechanism that is exacerbating the Arctic Oceans acidification. As the ice clears from the ocean phytoplankton is already reported to be growing in vastly greater abundance.

Phytoplankton Blooming Beneath Thinning Arctic Ice

Phytoplankton Blooming Beneath Thinning Arctic Ice

Phytoplankton is indeed the only hope for the Arctic Ocean. It provides the single alternative process to the default reaction of H2O+CO2=H2CO3 (carbonic acid). With phytoplankton in the equation H2O+CO2+photosynthesis= more phytoplankton, life itself. With all plankton blooms the vast majority of the plankton, and it is mostly carbon, sinks into the deep ocean.

The boffins in Norway are reporting on an abundance of macronutrients in the Arctic seas that is now and will grow more phytoplankton.  But whether the most critical mineral micronutrients are there in amounts capable of sustaining the Arctic blooms that are sure to come is in considerable doubt.

Because the Arctic Ocean’s plankton blooming season is most substantial in the ice-free waters of the short Arctic summer there is an urgent need for implementing and testing stewardship plans now for the sustainable benefit of the coming Arctic plankton blooms. The absence of intentional stewardship of these newly opening Arctic Ocean pastures means their acid abating and life saving capacity will surely be greatly lessened as we stand by and do nothing but passively watch. The passive, do nothing, approach has certain even intentional dire consequences.

The life and vitality of such an important ocean and planetary ecosystem ought not to be left to chance. Especially since it is our unnatural anthropogenic CO2 that is most assuredly already destroying the ecological balance of the Arctic Ocean.

Arctic ocean villages can easily be helped to become learned caring stewards of their newly opening ocean pastures. We proven native peoples villages have what it takes to care for theirs and our world. To read what 100 villages might do follow this link.