Acid Rain Has a Disproportionate Impact on Coastal Waters

Acid Rain Has a Disproportionate Impact on Coastal Waters -...

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Acid Rain Has a Disproportionate Impact on Coastal Waters Research Suggests Sulfur, Nitrogen Emissions Play a Role in Changing Chemistry Near the Coast http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=39138&tid=282&cid=31286&ct=162 The release of sulfur and nitrogen into the atmosphere by power plants and agricultural activities plays a minor role in making the ocean more acidic on a global scale, but the impact is greatly amplified in the shallower waters of the coastal ocean, according to new research by atmospheric and marine chemists. Ocean “acidification” occurs when chemical compounds such as carbon dioxide, sulfur, or nitrogen mix with seawater, a process which lowers the pH and reduces the storage of carbon. Ocean acidification hampers the ability of marine organisms—such as sea urchins, corals, and certain types of plankton—to harness calcium carbonate for making hard outer shells or “exoskeletons.” These organisms provide essential food and habitat to other species, so their demise could affect entire ocean ecosystems. The findings were published this week in the
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2012 for the course GEO 105 taught by Professor Dr.hanson during the Winter '11 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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