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Study of Estuaries Finds Lower Acidification than in Oceans

Research Assistant Professor Nathan Hall with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City and co-author of the study explained that eutrophication is effectively causing, in some cases, estuarine waters to have lower acidification than that of the ocean. As Hall sees it, the study reveals eutrophication in estuaries as a kind of double-edged sword, a trade-off.

“I think that’s something that people are really just starting to talk about,” he said. “I think another thing the study shows is we have this global pressure of higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere, but how that affects pH is very estuary-specific and so we just can’t make assumptions that estuaries are going to decrease in pH. A lot of estuaries are probably not going to be really sensitive to the increase in atmospheric CO2 and some may be. We’ve really got to take it by an estuary-to-estuary basis to really understand which ones are going to be more sensitive and which ones are not.”


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