Carbon emissions increasing acidity of ocean, threatening marine life

The following article was released by SeaWeb in its latest update (January 26, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 2). There is also an accompanying video which can be accessed at the link provided below to the SeaWeb website.

Industrial nations that attended the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this past December have until the end of this month to submit their plans for reducing carbon emissions to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)-although the UNFCCC head, Yvo de Boer, stated in a webcast on January 20 that the targets are not legally binding and the deadline is flexible.

The decisions these nations make now could have lasting impacts on marine life, as increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the ocean are making seawater increasingly acidic and, potentially, impeding the survival of many marine organisms.

The ocean absorbs approximately one-third of the carbon dioxide that is emitted by the burning of fossil fuels, which mitigates the impacts of climate change but results in the ocean becoming increasingly acidic. Already, as a recent report from Oceana points out, the ocean is one-third more acidic than it was prior to the Industrial Revolution.

SEAWEB, Salomon Times Online, 27 January 2010. Full article.

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