As carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere rise, more CO2 is absorbed into our oceans, making them more acidic. We know the problems this has caused in the saltwater environment. Now, rising CO2 levels are also affecting some freshwaters, too.
Rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere being absorbed into the world's oceans have created a wide range of well-documented problems for marine animals and ecosystems. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on January 11 present some of the first evidence that similar things are happening in freshwaters too.The study was conducted by aquatic biologists at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany.
They found that some freshwater ecosystems have become more acidic with rising pCO2 levels (Partial pressure of CO2 is a measure that reflects the carbon dioxide exchange between the lake and its environment), using data spanning 35 years, from 1981-2015.
Four freshwater reservoirs in Germany were used in the study. Analysing the data covering 35 years, they confirmed there had been a continuous rise in pCO2 levels at all four freshwater bodies. A rise in CO2 levels causes a decrease in pH levels, the measure of how acid the water has become. Just remember, the lower the pH level, the greater the acidity.
Boron Proxies in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology (Analytical Methods in Earth and Environmental Science)