Rising CO2 Levels In Air Hurt Sundarbans Marine Life: Scientists

A continued rise in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the air is harming the marine life in the Sunderbans Estuary in West Bengal by making it acidic. Animals, especially with shellfish such as oysters, clams, crabs and lobsters, are at risk.

This was analyzed by a team of marine scientists working in the Sunderbans, who said ocean acidification was part of global warming and climate change, Hindustan times reported. Experts found that the water’s pH level dropped from around 8.3 in the early 1980s to around 7.9 in 2019.

Speaking to the media, Abhijit Mitra, former head of the Department of Marine Sciences (University of Calcutta), informed that the western part of Sunderban, close to the urban area, had observed a massive drop in its pH level, while that the central part is down. slowly.

Mitra said the decline is affecting the population of shelled organisms as well as the size of their shells, which have become increasingly thin. Fishermen said that many fish and other animals have gotten smaller and are barely getting bigger.

Their population has also declined by 35 to 40 percent in the western area.

“The size of Saccostrea cucullata, a species of edible oyster around Kakdwip and Namkhana fishing port, has dropped by more than 40%. saying.

Ass. Indian Institute of Science Education and Research professor Punyasloke Bhadury explained that the water contains calcium and carbonate ions, which shelled animals need to thrive and corals to build the reef. But the acidity reduces these components in the water, affecting the size of the shell and slowing the growth of reefs.

Experts have said that the drop in the pH level is alarming. Just as the slightest drop in a human body’s pH (pH 7.35-7.45) can make it sick, so can marine animals.

Scientists said the decline did not only affect the Sunderbans, but other estuaries as well.

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