Carbon emissions creating acidic oceans not seen since dinosaurs

Chemical change placing ‘unprecedented’ pressure on marine life and could cause widespread extinctions, warn scientists

Human pollution is turning the seas into acid so quickly that the coming decades will recreate conditions not seen on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs, scientists will warn today.

The rapid acidification is caused by the massive amounts of carbon dioxide belched from chimneys and exhausts that dissolve in the ocean. The chemical change is placing “unprecedented” pressure on marine life such as shellfish and lobsters and could cause widespread extinctions, the experts say.

The study, by scientists at Bristol University, will be presented at a special three-day summit of climate scientists in Copenhagen, which opens today. The conference is intended to update the science of global warming and to shock politicians into taking action on carbon emissions.



The Bristol scientists cannot talk about their unpublished results until they are announced later today. But a summary of the findings seen by the Guardian predicts “dangerous” levels of ocean acidification and severe consequences for organisms called marine calcifiers, which form chalky shells.

It says: “We find the future rate of surface ocean acidification and environmental pressure on marine calcifiers very likely unprecedented in the past 65 million years.” The scientists add that the situation in the deep sea is of even “greater concern”.

….

David Adam, The Guardian, 10 March 2009. Full article.

1 Response to “Carbon emissions creating acidic oceans not seen since dinosaurs”


  1. 1 Anne-Marin Nisumaa 10 March 2009 at 17:35

    The title of this article is unfortunate because, as mentioned in the body of the article, the oceans are alkaline and will not become acidic (pH lower than 7) even in the distant future.


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OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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