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Ocean Acidification

>> Thursday, February 5, 2009

The threat of ocean acidification is getting some attention recently. Many marine scientists (more than 150) from all over the world are asking policy-makers to take this threat very seriously and find a way to reduce CO2 emissions. According to these scientists, the acidification is already detectable and is rapidly accelerating. How does CO2 in the atmosphere cause ocean acidification?

The ocean absorbs a lot of the gas and it is dissolved and converted to carbonic acid. According to Oceana, this acid destroys many shells and layers on animals that are key to ecosystem survival. The acid breaks down these calcium carbonate shells.

Not only does the CO2 affect animals with calcium carbonate shells, but animals like squid that require a lot of oxygen will not be able to absorb as much. Acidity in the ocean also affects the squid’s blood acidity.

The oceans pH has already dropped from 8.16 to 8.05 since the late 1980’s. There is some evidence that this drastic change in pH will also hamper the development of various marine larvae.

What can you do to help? Besides lowering the amount of CO2 you personally produce, you can write policy makers. Let people know. Talk to others about how lovely the ocean is. Remind them how important it is and how much of our oxygen comes from the ocean.

Off my little soapbox. Sorry. I get carried away.

You can find the source here.


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