1. Ocean water is rapidly becoming more acidic. In less than two centuries, ocean acidity has increased worldwide by 30%. This rapid change is a result of human-generated CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere, which is absorbed by the world’s oceans and increasing every year. CO2 absorption reduces the pH, causing increased acidity that reduces carbonate, a key component of sea water. Reduced carbonate can have detrimental impacts to marine life, particularly to organisms that use it in making their shells. Increasing ocean acidification (OA), has been tracked for several decades by hundreds of researchers worldwide. These long-term datasets positively correlate human-generated atmospheric CO2 production with increases in OA.
2. Coastal Oregon and the West Coast are particularly vulnerable to OA and Hypoxic Zones.The compounded effects of natural and human-generated factors increase the intensity of OA off Oregon, exacerbating the impacts from seasonal Hypoxic Zone formation. Naturally occurring seasonal upwelling of acidified deep ocean waters is a component of the Pacific Northwest’s ocean carbon chemistry processes.
Read more: Facts about OAH in Oregon Waters