An alternative approach for addressing CO2-driven ocean acidification

The oceans have absorbed over twenty-five percent of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide (“CO2”) released to the atmosphere since pre-industrial times.1 As a result, naturally alkaline oceans are becoming more acidic.2 The projected increase in CO2 emissions absorbed by the oceans will cause changes in water chemistry that may affect “biodiversity, trophic interactions, and other ecosystem processes.”3 Elevated CO2 will lower the availability of carbonate ions, which calcifying organisms need to create their shells and skeletons.4 In the case of corals, it is likely to induce bleaching.5 High CO2 concentrations will reduce larval fish survival,6 as it impairs their ability to detect predators and find adequate habitat.7 It is clear that “[a]cidification impacts processes so fundamental [that it] could have far-reaching consequences for the oceans of the future and the millions of people that depend on its food and other resources for their livelihoods.”8

González V., 2012. An alternative approach for addressing CO2-driven ocean acidification. Sustainable Development Law & Policy 12 (2): 45, 69. Article.

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