Last updated October 10, 2018

Increase in acidifying water in the western Arctic Ocean

The Arctic Ocean is the first ocean where we see such a rapid and large-scale increase in acidification, at least twice as fast as that observed in the Pacific or Atlantic oceans.

Wei-Jun Cai, the US lead principal investigator on the project and Mary A.S. Lighthipe Professor of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at the University of Delaware

  • Finds that ocean acidification (OA) is spreading rapidly in the western Arctic Ocean in both area and depth
  • Shows that, between the 1990s and 2010, acidified waters expanded northward approximately 300 nautical miles from the Chukchi slope off the coast of northwestern Alaska to just below the North Pole
  • Finds that the depth of acidified waters was found to have increased, from approximately 325 feet to over 800 feet (or from 100 to 250 meters)