Ocean acidification – one of the ‘top 5 ocean stories of 2013’ according to Smithsonian Magazine

Ocean acidification has been identified as one of the ‘top 5 ocean stories of 2013’ by Smithsonian Magazine:

Acid Test

With the warming planet on our minds, it’s easy to forget a less-obvious impact of climate change: ocean acidification, caused by carbon dioxide dissolving into the water from the air.

This year, it was brought to the forefront as researchers found that ocean acidity is rising faster now than it has ever the past 300 million years—so fast the ocean’s acidity will likely be 170 percent higher than in the 1800s by 2100. Acidification will affect different organisms in different ways, but those that build shells from calcium carbonate, such as oysters, sea butterflies and corals, will be hit the hardest.

New research this year also found that acidic water may make fish more anxious, while sea urchins could adapt to the conditions. There’s still a lot to learn, but 2013 saw more people talking about acidification than ever before.

Emily Frost and Hannah Waters, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 December 2013. Article.

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