Energy / Climate Change

February 24, 2013


JMA Begins Ocean Acidification Reporting Online

Keywords: Climate Change University / Research institute 

JFS/JMA Begins Ocean Acidification Reporting Online
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency
Translated by JFS

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) announced on November 20, 2012, that it would start releasing periodical monitoring information on ocean acidification, the first of its kind in Japan, along with global warming information using the long-term observational data gathered by its research vessels. The monitoring information will be available in a column of the "Oceanic Carbon Cycle" on JMA's website.

Ocean acidification refers to a long-term decline in the pH value of ocean waters caused by absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) into the ocean. JMA's observations revealed that pH decreased at a rate of approximately 0.02 every ten years at all northern latitudes between 3 degrees and 34 degrees along 137 degrees east longitude in the western North Pacific, confirming an increase in ocean acidity.

Scientists have pointed out that, in recent years, rising CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, which is perceived as the main cause of global warming, are in direct correlation with rising CO2 levels in the oceans as well as an increase in ocean acidity.

A decreasing pH of sea surface water and a rise in sea surface temperatures affects the oceans' ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, resulting in a rise in the amount of CO2 that remains in the atmosphere, which may accelerate global warming. Moreover, the progression of ocean acidification may cause adverse impacts on marine ecosystems.