Azara Blog: Oceans becoming more acidic

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Date published: 2005/06/30

The BBC says:

Marine species are under threat from rising levels of acidity in the oceans, says the UK's Royal Society.

Unless carbon dioxide emissions are cut, there could be irreversible damage to ecosystems, it warns.

It is further evidence of the need to take action at next week's G8 summit, says working group chair, John Raven.

"Failure to do so may mean that there is no place in the oceans of the future for many of the species and ecosystems that we know today," he said.

The report: Ocean acidification due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, says excess carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has already increased the acidity of the world's oceans to a level that is irreversible in our life times.

The world's oceans have already absorbed about half of the CO2 produced by humans, mainly by the burning of fossil fuels, over the past 200 years.

This has led to a reduction of the pH of seawater by 0.1 units. If emissions of CO2 continue to rise as predicted, there will be another drop in pH by 0.5 units by 2100, a level that has not existed in the oceans for many millions of years.

Another end-of-the-world report. Of course if you look for problems you are going to find them. And these problems are almost certainly going to get much worse before they (might possibly) get better. Just add acidic oceans onto the general pile.

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