Researchers Nissen and Lovenduski, based in Colorado, have demonstrated that conducting all their research from their desks is possible. All they required was a laptop and an internet connection to gather the data needed to create computer models simulating global ocean currents and predict how the Antarctic Ocean would change over the next 100 years.
The Antarctic Ocean plays a crucial role in regulating the world’s climate by acting as a moat, circulating global water currents and absorbing carbon emissions. It also serves as a habitat for various organisms and wildlife. Lovenduski stated that ocean acidification is affecting the entire water column of the Antarctic Ocean, which not only harms coastal organisms but also those residing on the seafloor.
Lovenduski added that ocean acidification is particularly concerning in the Southern Ocean because it is already highly acidic, with just a slight perturbation potentially pushing it beyond its breaking point. This highlights the urgency of addressing ocean acidification and taking measures to slow its progression to protect marine life in the Antarctic Ocean.
The researchers emphasized that rapid reductions in carbon emissions are necessary to slow down acidification, while also advocating for more marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean. These actions are critical for maintaining the health and biodiversity of this vital ocean ecosystem.