Ocean acidification causes US$1trn of damage a year
As well as warming the atmosphere, carbon dioxide emissions from power stations and cars dissolve in the ocean, making it more acidic. While it is driven by the same human activities as climate change, ocean acidification tends to have a lower profile, perhaps because the economic impacts are less well understood.
But the phenomenon causes nearly US$1 trillion worth of damage to coral reefs a year, in tandem with other human-caused environmental changes. That is according to a report collated by British scientists from the work of thirty experts worldwide, to be launched at a UN biodiversity conference on Wednesday.
Murray Roberts, co-editor of the report and professor at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University, said: “At the end of the day, the only way to deal with ocean acidification is to reduce CO2 emissions. “But for this to happen people first need to be aware that ocean acidification is an important issue.”