Ocean acidification faster than ever

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that contribute to global warming are also turning the oceans more acidic at the fastest pace in hundreds of thousands of years, according to the US National Research Council. “The chemistry of the ocean is changing at an unprecedented rate and magnitude due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions,” the council said. “The rate of change exceeds any known to have occurred for at least the past hundreds of thousands of years.” Ocean acidification eats away at coral reefs, interferes with some fish species’ ability to find their homes and can harm commercial shellfish such as mussels and oysters and keep them from forming their protective shells.

Source: Planet Ark, 23 April 2010

In this issue