Ocean Acidification: The Sleeper Environmental Issue of Our Time

Some friends of mine are working on a new film about an alarming dimension of the global carbon-emission problem that’s received scant attention. Accomplished documentary filmmaker Barbara Ettinger (her previous works include Two Square Miles and Martha and Ethel) and her husband and partner Sven Huseby are traveling the globe speaking to leading scientists studying acidification of our oceans, which threatens to change life — both on land and sea as we know it.

Ocean acidification has been called the sleeper environmental issue of our time. We can smell — and often see — the havoc that emissions from smokestacks and car exhausts wreak on our air. But we fail to consider the huge amounts of carbon absorbed by our seas, even though they cover 70% of the planet. Carbon increases the water’s pH, leading to decreases in calcium carbonate, crucial for creating bones in fish, shells on crustaceans and coral reefs.

[comment: from JPG: there is an obvious mistake in the paragraph above which should read “Carbon decreases the water’s pH


The Daily Green, 18 September 2007. Article.

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