Marine fish were the fighters against global warming
An international team of scientists found that the sea fish in large quantities “produce” calcium carbonate – a compound that zaslujivaet sea water. Until this study, published in the journal Science . the role of fish in this process was considered insignificant. The main conclusions of the work presented in the press release of the University of Miami.
Among the oceanographers was common belief that the main supplier of calcium carbonate in ocean water is plankton. However, the observed change in the acidity of the water with increasing depth did not fit in this theory: the ocean is alkaline at a much lower depth than “should” in that case, if the calcium carbonate is produced mainly by plankton.
The new results help to explain this discrepancy. Scientists led by Martin Grosell (Martin Grosell) from the University of Miami showed that marine fish excrete in the water column carbonates, which are formed in the gut. Fish secrete calcium carbonate into the more soluble form than plankton, so he “has time” to reduce the acidity of water before reaching the bottom. Most of the calcium carbonate produced by plankton, settles and is sealed under sedimentary rocks for hundreds of years.
According to Grosell and colleagues, the proportion of “fish” of calcium carbonate is from 3 to 15% of the total number.The authors emphasize that these figures are not final and may in fact be several times more.
The results forced scientists to take a fresh look at chemical equilibrium of the oceans. In recent years, due to emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere sea water began zakislate. Changing the pH of water affects the development of many organisms (e.g., corals) and, conversely, stimulates the growth of other (sea grass). Fish with increasing temperature and CO 2 in the water begin to proliferate and to allocate more carbonates. That is, they perform the “buffer” function, while maintaining balance in the system. Enhanced catching fish may, therefore, stimulate an increase in the acidity of water.
The authors stress that the influence of new factors on the ecology of the oceans is very difficult and requires long study.