Ocean Acidification is a Bonafide Threat to Marine Life Warns Chief US and UK Scientists (Opinion)
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The New York Times] Opinion by Richard W. Spinrad and Ian Boyd - October 16, 2015
Spinrad is the chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Boyd is the chief scientific adviser to the British government’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Ocean and coastal waters around the world are beginning to tell a disturbing story. The seas, like a sponge, are absorbing increasing amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so much so that the chemical balance of our oceans and coastal waters is changing and a growing threat to marine ecosystems. Over the past 200 years, the world’s seas have absorbed more than 150 billion metric tons of carbon from human activities. Currently, that’s a worldwide average of 15 pounds per person a week, enough to fill a coal train long enough to encircle the equator 13 times every year.
We can’t see this massive amount of carbon dioxide that’s going into the ocean, but it dissolves in seawater as carbonic acid, changing the water’s chemistry at a rate faster than seen for millions of years. Known as ocean acidification, this process makes it difficult for shellfish, corals and other marine organisms to grow, reproduce and build their shells and skeletons...
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