North Pacific Area of Costa Rica Offers Insight into the Effects of Increased Ocean Acidity

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The projection that acidity in the oceans will reach record levels in the next 100 years was announced in the latest report by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP) in conjunction with Unesco and the Scientific Research Committee Ocean (SCOR). Given this, Costa Rican researcher believe the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica may suffer due to this phenomenon.

    The report mentions that the acidity of the oceans will increase 170% in the next century. As acidity in the oceans increases, its ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere decreases, which reduces the chances of mitigating climate change. In Costa Rica, the effects are still not as strong, but the outlook is not positive.

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    “The implications are for all marine organisms, especially those that form a structure of calcium carbonate. In extreme cases, this will bring damage to coral reefs, shells or any other type of organism that produces a shell,” said Celeste Sanchez-Noguera, a marine biologist at the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

    Sanchez is doing her doctoral thesis on the study of acidification in the Costa Rican Pacific coast. Within decades, much of the polar oceans will be corrosive to the unprotected shells of marine organisms.

    “There are projections for 2050 and if they follow the current levels of increasing ocean acidity, corals are at risk of disappearing. That would bring down all biodiversity and all the food chains that are being developed in reefs.  Everything that happens in an ecosystem affects the other,” Sanchez said.

    The entities that conducted the study found that people who depend on the services of ocean ecosystems are particularly vulnerable and may need to adapt or cope with the effects of ocean acidification.

    “Costa Rica is a special case, where there is a naturally occuring acidification process presented each year. Precisely why we are doing the study, when all Caribbean trade winds are upwelling, where the waters come with a very high level of acidity,” the expert added.

    In times of the upwelling phenomena, they have had low values. A value in the range of normal acidity is 8.2, but in the North Pacific region 7.9 values ​​were recorded on the same scale.

    International researchers concluded that predicting how entire ecosystems change in response to rising CO2 levels remains a challenge. Furthermore, it is premature to achieve reliable quantitative predictions of the socio-economic impacts.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose Costa Rica

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