Acid build-up in Florida waters threatens marine life (text and audio)

Acid levels are rising in Florida’s waters, causing marine life to change. Florida educators, researchers and federal representatives discussed the potential effects at Mote Marine Laboratory recently.

Ocean Acidification starts with burning fossil fuels, like when we drive our cars. It releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and then that CO2 dissolves into the ocean, changing its chemistry.

University of Miami Marine Biology professor Chris Langdon spoke at Mote’s panel discussion on Ocean Acidification. He says the acid makes corals grow more slowly, causing them to build reefs more slowly too.

“It’s building up in the ocean and it backs up into the organisms and that creates some serious problems for them,” said Langdon. “It could mean that our reefs will be less healthy– fewer corals in the future.”

He said Florida’s corals are threatened, but there is hope. Langdon said every year, they find some individual coral colonies are doing just fine. Some corals have adapted and solved the ocean acidification problem on their own. But Langdon said he doesn’t know whether they can reproduce quickly enough to keep the reefs healthy.

Jessica Meszaros, WGCU News, 4 September 2015. Text and audio.

1 Response to “Acid build-up in Florida waters threatens marine life (text and audio)”

  1. 1 olgaanghelici 9 September 2015 at 14:45

    It is unfortunate that the terminology used in the title and content of this article is misleading. The definition of “acidic” in the Oxford English dictionary is “having the properties of an acid; having a pH of less than 7″. Despite the process of ocean acidification (the acidity of seawater has increased 26% since preindustrial time), the oceans are alkaline (pH higher than 7) and will not become acidic in the foreseeable future. Hence, while it is accurate to refer to the increase in acidity, the “acid” or “acidic” should not be used when referring to seawater. Note that there are few exceptions, seawater can be acidic in the immediate vicinity of CO2 vents or in purposeful perturbation experiments.

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