Northwest ocean acidification

The hidden costs of fossil fuel pollution

Every day, oceans do us a huge favor by absorbing about a third of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by human activities. But as we burn more fossil fuels and clear forests, our oceans absorb more and become more acidic. The result is water that’s potentially lethal to a large swath of creatures that play a huge role in aquatic ecosystems, the Northwest economy, and our dinner plates.

Sightline’s primer on ocean acidification examines the problem of ocean acidification in the context of the Pacific Northwest. Only a few years ago, researchers though acidification would be a problem that was decades-out. But once they started looking for it, they found it nearly everywhere in waters from British Columbia to Baja California. Included in the primer:


  • What is ocean acidification and how does it work? 
  • What’s happening in Northwest waters?
  • What species will be affected?
  • What are the economic consequences of ocean acidification?
  • What can we do to reverse this problem?

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About the Author: Jennifer Langston applies her hard-hitting journalism skills to the most pressing issues in the Northwest. Before joining Sightline, Jennifer spent a decade as a reporter covering environment and sustainability issues across the Northwest. She wrote about land use, housing, urban design, transportation, food policy and climate change for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Jennifer also covered the energy and environment beat in Idaho and South Carolina. She has English and journalism degrees from Yale University and the University of Maryland.

See also:


Sightline Institute, 3 November 2011. Article and report.


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OA-ICC Highlights

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