Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ocean Acidification Risks Mass Extinction of Sea Life

The oceans are becoming more acid.

This is due to rising carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

There is therefore a major threat to aquatic life.

Carol Turley of Plymouth Marine Laboratory says: "I am very worried for ocean ecosystems which are currently productive and diverse.

"I believe we may be heading for a mass extinction, as the [current] rate of change in the oceans hasn't been seen since the dinosaurs. It may have a major impact on food security. It really is imperative that we cut emissions of CO2."

50 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted by the burning of fossil fuels or other substances is absorbed by the ocean.

Carbon dioxide reacts with water to form carbonic acid.

This has led to a lowering of the ocean's pH by 0.1 since the Industrial Revolution - a 30 percent increase in acidity.

Ocean Acidification Risks Mass Extinction of Sea Life

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