Copenhagen climate summit: Britain will suffer as seas become more acidic

Carbon dioxide emissions are making the world’s seas more acidic, with devastating effects on fisheries and sea life, quite apart from their effects on climate change. And Britain will be one of the nations hardest hit by the little-known process, which is occurring faster than at any time in the past 55 million years.

New reports published at the Copenhagen climate summit make it clear that the “underwater time bomb” of ocean acidification – which cannot be reversed in less than tens of thousands of years – is likely to lead to a mass extinction of marine species if it is allowed to continue unchecked.

The rapid “souring” of the oceans provides just as compelling a reason to reduce emissions as climate change and, unlike global warming, it is not a matter of debate: measurements show that increasing levels of carbon dioxide have already made the seas 30 per cent more acid since the Industrial Revolution.


Geoffrey Lean, Telegraph.co.uk, 11 December 2009. Full article.

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OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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