Deep sea coral latest victim of acidic ocean

Since the wide-spread burning of fossil fuels began, our global oceans have become nearly a third more acidic and it is killing one of the most unusual ecosystems we have – deep sea coral.

An international symposium is underway right now in Wellington, bringing researchers from all around the world together to discuss the problem.

Dr Simon Davy, a lecturer in marine science at Victoria University, and Jason Hall-Spencer from the University of Plymouth discuss what they have come up with on Sunrise.



3news.co.nz, 4 December 2008. Article and Video.

3 Responses to “Deep sea coral latest victim of acidic ocean”


  1. 1 Jean-Pierre Gattuso 9 December 2008 at 17:48

    The definition of “acidic” in the Oxford English dictionary is “having the properties of an acid; having a pH of less than 7”. This definition does not apply to un-manipulated seawater now nor in the foreseeable future. Hence, the adjective “acidic” should not be used. Note that there are some exceptions, for example in the immediate vicinity of CO2 vents.

  2. 2 Steve Bloom 10 December 2008 at 22:48

    This sort of thing is an inherent hazard of headlines. “Acidifying” (referring to the direction of the effect rather than its absolute state) would be the correct part of speech if a single word is wanted here. But while “more acidic” in the body is quite accurate (as with “acidification”) since we are adding something that moves things in that direction, note that using it in the headline would not change the meaning from the point of view of a reader unfamiliar with the technical nuances.

  3. 3 gattuso 11 December 2008 at 07:56

    While I fully appreciate the difficulty of the topic for the media and readers unfamilar with the complexity of the carbonate system in seawater, I believe that one must strive for accuracy. Perhaps a glossary of terms used in the field of ocean acidification would be useful.


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