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Ocean acidification due to carbon emissions is at highest for 300m years

RATE THIS! +50
Posted in Science on 5th Oct, 2013 02:13 AM by AlexMuller

The oceans are more acidic now than they have been for at least 300m years, due to carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, and a mass extinction of key species may already be almost inevitable as a result, leading marine scientists warned on Thursday.

 
An international audit of the health of the oceans has found that overfishing and pollution are also contributing to the crisis, in a deadly combination of destructive forces that are imperilling marine life, on which billions of people depend for their nutrition and livelihood.
 
In the starkest warning yet of the threat to ocean health, the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) said: "This [acidification] is unprecedented in the Earth's known history. We are entering an unknown territory of marine ecosystem change, and exposing organisms to intolerable evolutionary pressure. The next mass extinction may have already begun." It published its findings in the State of the Oceans report, collated every two years from global monitoring and other research studies.
 
Alex Rogers, professor of biology at Oxford University, said: "The health of the ocean is spiralling downwards far more rapidly than we had thought. We are seeing greater change, happening faster, and the effects are more imminent than previously anticipated. The situation should be of the gravest concern to everyone since everyone will be affected by changes in the ability of the ocean to support life on Earth."
 
Coral is particularly at risk. Increased acidity dissolves the calcium carbonate skeletons that form the structure of reefs, and increasing temperatures lead to bleaching where the corals lose symbiotic algae they rely on. The report says that world governments' current pledges to curb carbon emissions would not go far enough or fast enough to save many of the world's reefs.
 
There is a time lag of several decades between the carbon being emitted and the effects on seas, meaning that further acidification and further warming of the oceans are inevitable, even if we drastically reduce emissions very quickly. There is as yet little sign of that, with global greenhouse gas output still rising.


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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-05
+5
The statement that was made "The health of the ocean is spiralling downwards far more rapidly than we had thought" Now this is happening faster than they thought? Oh okay so what next? I am sorry to say but I do not have a lot of faith in these so called reports that are sprung upon us. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-24
+0
Unquestionably believe that which you seattd. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks Reply


 

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