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AnimalsClimate ChangeOceansScience

Ocean Acidification Threatens Fish More Than Previously Thought

ocean acidification kills marine life

We’ve known for awhile that ocean acidification (which results from the burning of fossil fuels, just like global warming) is a huge concern for the oceans and many of the living creatures that rely on it (yeah,.. that’s a lot of the Earth’s living creatures). But what we knew was that it was a threat to the creation of some marine life shells and skeletons, and then there was a ripple effect up the food chain.

However, it turns out things are worse than previously expected.

Ocean Acidification Kills Fish

“Several studies published in the journal Nature Climate ChangeBaumann (2011) and Frommel (2011), indicate that… [f]ish may, in fact, be seriously threatened by ocean acidification,” Rob Painting reports over on Skeptical Science. “Although adult fish seem well-equipped to deal with low pH waters, or higher levels of CO2 in seawater, their egg and larval life stages, a typically vulnerable time for all marine life, may not be so fortunate.”

“Baumann (2011) show that larvae survival in one fish species drops with increased levels of CO2 (figure 1). Survival rates plummeting some 75% under a scenario with 1000ppm (parts per million) of atmospheric CO2. And Frommel (2011) discovered considerable tissue damage and necrosis (dead tissue) in fish larvae of another species exposed to higher levels of CO2 than the present day. In the high CO2 experiments, this damage to internal organs was so extensive it lead to the death of afflicted larvae.”

For more, the studies are discussed in more depth over on Skeptical Science.

Ocean Acidification is Here (Big Time) and Has No Easy Fix Other than the Obvious One

While on the topic of ocean acidification, though, Michael Lemonick of Climate Central had a ‘nice’ piece on Climate Central this week quickly discussion how screwed our oceans are and how ‘simple’ solutions to fix the problem with geoengineering would cost trillions of dollars and wouldn’t solve much. One notable quote from that piece: “the oceans are now 30% more acidic than they were before the Industrial Revolution began….”

But that whole piece is worth a read as well.

What’s the obvious solution? Stop burning fossil fuels like there’s no tomorrow!

Ocean photo via shutterstock




2 comments
  1. Kim Peart

    The culprit in ocean acidification is growing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air and oceans. Carbon can be cracked from CO2, but this takes a lot of energy. The Sun is an unlimited energy-well and by building solar power stations in space and beaming this energy to Earth for power, we will have the energy to remove excess carbon from the air and sea as a resource, which may even turn a profit, as carbon is an amazing element. With solar power stations in space, we would also be able to launch industry beyond Earth, which would allow the construction of orbital space settlements across the Solar System. With a confident survival presence beyond Earth, we would have the confidence to solve any problem and hope to win the fight for a safe Earth. With an industrial presence in space, we would also have a strong planetary defence against the next monster asteroid that will strike this planet, sooner or later, by pushing into a new orbit, or mining the beast into oblivion for the resources. This suggestion is explored further here:   http://tiny.cc/o4s2h

    Kim Peart
    kimpeart@iinet.net.au

  2. Kim Peart

    The culprit in ocean acidification is growing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air and oceans. Carbon can be cracked from CO2, but this takes a lot of energy. The Sun is an unlimited energy-well and by building solar power stations in space and beaming this energy to Earth for power, we will have the energy to remove excess carbon from the air and sea as a resource, which may even turn a profit, as carbon is an amazing element. With solar power stations in space, we would also be able to launch industry beyond Earth, which would allow the construction of orbital space settlements across the Solar System. With a confident survival presence beyond Earth, we would have the confidence to solve any problem and hope to win the fight for a safe Earth. With an industrial presence in space, we would also have a strong planetary defence against the next monster asteroid that will strike this planet, sooner or later, by pushing into a new orbit, or mining the beast into oblivion for the resources. This suggestion is explored further here:   http://tiny.cc/o4s2h

    Kim Peart
    kimpeart@iinet.net.au

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