Ocean acidity is an issue we’ve written about numerous times, but really, it is such a critical issue, sometimes I feel like we should write about it everyday. The NYTimes recently gave this issue good attention.
Carbon dioxide emissions from man-made sources are causing the acidity level of the world’s oceans to rise at what is probably the fastest rate in 65 million years, threatening global fisheries that serve as an essential food source for billions of people, according to a new United Nations report.
Roughly 25 percent of the carbon dioxide generated by the combustion of fossil fuels enters the oceans, and as the gas dissolves in seawater it changes into carbonic acid. One result has been a rapid alteration in ocean chemistry that is already affecting marine organisms.
The truth is, while global warming in the atmosphere and on land is a critical concern caused by carbon emissions, ocean acidification is a comparably serious issue facing the world’s oceans and all that rely on them resulting from the same thing, largely. Here’s more from the NYTimes:
The acidity of the oceans has grown 30 percent since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. At current emission rates, ocean acidity could be 150 percent higher by the end of the century, the report states.
Marine life and coral reefs have already shown vulnerability to rising levels of acidity, and the changes expected in coming decades are severe enough that they could have a serious impact on the ability of people around the world to harvest needed protein from the seas, according to Carol Turley, senior scientist at Britain’s National Oceanography Center and the lead author of the report.
“We need to start thinking about the risk to food security,” Dr. Turley said in a statement.
Who doesn’t rely on the world’s oceans? If they are screwed, you know we are going to be screwed. Yet, this is an issue the huge majority of people have probably never even heard about. Spread the word about this critical topic to do your part, and, of course, cut your carbon emissions.
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