The looming problem of the continued acidification of our oceans is compounded by the fact that oceanographers don't even understand much about it. That is why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are proposing increased monitoring of our oceans in order to understand better the implications of the rapid increase in ocean acidity being witnessed recently. It appears there may be a "perfect storm" taking place that does not bode well for our aquatic creatures. Coral reefs, mollusks, crustaceans, sea grasses and even clown fish are being directly threatened right now. We all learned in school how the food chain works. The extinction of these species can have devastating effects on many, many other species. This is not the first time it's happened, either. 55 million years ago, the oceans were this acidic and mass extinction took place. But scientists seem especially alarmed at how quickly the oceans are acidifying today.
What is the cause and what can be done about it? Scientists say that the oceans have increased acidity by 30% since the Industrial Revolution. Acidification is caused by a chemical change when sea water absorbs CO2. The same stuff that many scientists believe contribute to our changing climate. Ocean acidification is now being tagged with the name "Climate Change's Evil Twin." This is not good folks.
Will aquatic life adapt to the changing acidity in our oceans? That doesn't seem likely. One scientist explained that there is a "saturation point" that when reached could trigger a catastrophic series of events that will change our oceans forever as we know it.
What scientists suggest needs to be done is to reduce CO2 emissions. There may not be any other solution. It's going to be a tough pill to swallow. It may simply be too big to be possible to get down our gullets.
Drastic reduction of CO2 emissions is possible. It will take a concerted effort of people all around the globe but especially in the US and Canada. We use more than twice the energy per capita that others in the world consume. We have lots of room for saving.
And saving life is what this is all about.
Read more here:
NOAA Research Plan Highlights,
AP article: US scientist: Ocean acidity major threat to reefs, Climate Watch,
PressRelease from Center for Biological Diversity
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