Anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and ocean acidification: the potential impacts on ocean biodiversity

Most of the focus in recent years on the potential impacts of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere linked to anthropogenic activities has been on the ramifications of atmospheric warming for ecosystems and human institutions. However, there is growing evidence that the gravest peril for ocean species may be acidification of the world’s oceans as a consequence of the influx of carbon dioxide absorbed in oceans as carbon dioxide emissions. This chapter assesses the likely impacts of ocean acidification on marine species, including calcifying species and fish. Ocean acidification may dictate changes in institutional strategies in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol and may spur litigation in other international flora. However, a critical foundational agenda is a robust research program to comprehensively assess potential ocean acidification impacts and adaptation strategies.



Burns, W. C. G., 2008. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and ocean acidification: the potential impacts on ocean biodiversity. In Askins, R. A., Dreyer, G. D., Visgilio, G. R., & Whitelaw, D. M. (eds.), 2008. Saving Biological Diversity. Springer US. Chapter (subscription required).

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