Antarctic climate change tipping point warning

SCIENTISTS have identified a climate change tipping point that could spark widespread devastation for animals living in Antarctic waters.
The researchers found a key species of plankton would be wiped out if levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 450 parts per million.

Experts warned the ocean would become too acidic for the plankton to grow, affecting the food supply of animals including fish, whales and penguins.

Dr Ben McNeil, an oceanographer at the Climate Change Research Centre, University of NSW and lead author of the study, said: “Oceanic acidification is a direct consequence of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

“It provides additional and direct scientific evidence for the world to do everything in its power to limit CO2 concentrations to 450ppm in order to avoid the irreversible consequences of ocean acidification.”

According to an estimate from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, carbon dioxide levels would reach 450ppm by 2030.

The report from Dr McNeil, originally from Brisbane, was published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the US.

Gragam Readfearn,, 11 November 2008. Article.

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