The acidification of oceans is increasing. Why is this phenomenon a cause of concern?
- The growth and survival of calcareous phytoplankton will be adversely affected.
- The growth and survival of coral reefs will be adversely affected.
- The survival of some animals that have phytoplanktonic larvae will be adversely affected.
- The cloud seeding and formation of clouds will be adversely affected.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2012 Prelims]
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Ocean Acidification is caused by excess absorption of carbon dioxide which causes a decline in ocean pH. Human activities are responsible for releasing an estimated 30-40% of carbon dioxide into oceans, lakes and rivers. This process impacts the ocean ecosystem in several ways:
- The concentration of carbon dioxide increases, which increases carbonic acid and decreases carbonate ions, making it more difficult for marine calcifying organisms such as coral to survive.
- Calcareous phytoplankton growth and survival are adversely affected.
- Some animals that have phytoplanktonic larvae are also negatively affected.
- Although the majority of atmospheric sulphur comes from the ocean in the form of dimethylsulfide produced by phytoplankton, ocean acidification negatively impacts the development of phytoplankton, which leads to a decrease in sulphur emissions, and consequently a decrease in cloud formation. Hence, statement 4 is incorrect.
Therefore, option (a) is the correct answer.