Elevated acidification rates due to atmospheric pollutants in the coastal Bay of Bengal
Deposition of anthropogenic pollutants on the surface waters of coastal Bay of Bengal (CBoB) enhanced ocean acidification rates to 0.004 to 0.006 /year, which was 3-5 times higher than the low-latitude global ocean trends in the last few decades. New evidence has been provided for the first time for a rapid decrease in surface water potential of hydrogen (pH) due to atmospheric deposition of pollutants in the CBoB. The decrease in pH in the CBoB over the last decade is associated with concomitant increase in aerosol optical depth, total suspended particles, sulphate and nitrate concentrations in air. This study suggests that contamination of surface coastal BoB by atmospheric pollutants not only acidifies surface ocean but also potentially amplifies carbon dioxide (CO2) emission with immediate implications to regional weather and climate.
Reference: Sarma, V. V. S. S., Krishna, M. S., Srinivas, T. N. R., et al. (2021). Elevated acidification rates due to deposition of atmospheric pollutants in the coastal Bay of Bengal. Geophys. Res. Lettrs. 48, 16. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL095159.