Report: Acidic oceans are an impending disaster

Ocean acidification – dubbed global warning’s “evil twin” – is a potentially disastrous consequence of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, according to a recent report from the National Research Council.

The report says that ocean chemistry is changing faster than it has in hundreds of thousands of years because of the CO2 being absorbed from the atmosphere. The resulting increased acidity of the oceans poses a serious threat to shellfish and other marine life.

The increased acidity corrodes seashells, and thousands of species build shells around them to live. “It removes the building block for producing shells,” Steve Palumbi of Stanford University said last year. “A lot of organisms may not be able to survive.”

Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 26 April 2010. Full article.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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