A Crisis Under Water

Much like global warming, ocean acidification is a serious result of rising carbon dioxide emissions. Putting at jeopardy millions of peoples health around the world who are depend on ocean life, whether it be their livelihood or their nutrition. Compared to pre-industrial levels, there has been a 26% increase of ocean acidification, a resultant of a rapid increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. Sulogna Mehta in Times of India states that, now the current rate of acidification has shown to be over ten times faster than any other period within the past 55 million years. Both the ocean and atmosphere maintain a ratio of CO2, the ocean hold approximately 30% more CO2 than the atmosphere. This notion is a good one, when thinking about the atmosphere and how it potentially could be even worse. However CO2 reacts with water, forming carbonic acid. Carbonic acid can be considered a “weak” acid, none-the- less is an acid, which produces hydrogen ions in the ocean, lowering the waters PH and making it more acidic. The oceans acidity has increased 250%, making the ocean the most acidic it’s been within the past 25 million years. This issue has made a major impact worldwide, however it has become an extremely prevalent problem in places such as India.

The people of India witness the cruel result of ocean acidification in their day to day lives, due to its negative impact on the sea food they rely on and in many cases their livelihood.

“The rate of acidification of oceanic water with subsequent decrease in the pH value in northern

Bay of Bengal (Vizag-Bengal region) is faster than elsewhere in the world, making this region a highly acidifying zone.”, states The Times of India. Researchers have found that many pollutants from the Indo-Gangetic plains as well as China and Bangladesh have been mixing with seawater in Indian waters because of the regions elevation compared to that of flat land, in return causing the oceans acidification. Ocean acidification has an immense impact on the food chain, due to it’s acidification reducing the growth of planktons, fish feed and shelled marine creatures. Globally, the rate of decrease in PH is .0019 unit / year, however in the Bay of Bengal it’s rate is at a high of .006 unites/year. During winter months, pollutants carried via the air blowing from the land to the sea, include acidic chemicals such as sulphates, nitrates and ammonia. Also, Nitrate and sulphate aerosols eventually deposit in the ocean decreasing its PH. Many metals in the water that are needed for phytoplankton or basic fish feed to grow, also change due to ocean acidification, decreasing plankton growth. Low PH causes a negative effect on the entire food chain.

India firmly believes that, being inclusive of ocean acidification mitigation and adaptation plans must be included in any future international climate change agreement. India also feels that putting money towards strengthening it’s now weak powergrid, in order to improve green energy sources effectiveness. Such advancements are currently out of India’s reach due to its limited funds. India believes that legal advancements towards improvements in ocean acidification are essential to Indian ocean life’s well being but as well as the potential benefits Indian coastal communities which have been heavily impacted by the effects of such issues, leading such communities into a smooth adoption period of changing social, economic, biophical, and ecological circumstances. In return any advancements would aid not one prevalent issue but two. Finally, after lengthy research, India believes the cure to ocean acidification is the same as for climate change. As previously mentioned, 30% of CO2 dissolves into the ocean, and efforts to stop the excess production of CO2 is deemed to help prevent further ocean acidification. If human efforts were made to complete the goals established in the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions not only India, but globally the world would alleviate itself from some of the negative climate change and ocean acidification have caused human kind.

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