Also up on Beacon Hill

STUDY OCEAN ACIDIFICATION (H 4593) – The House approved and sent to the Senate a bill creating a special commission to analyze existing scientific literature and data on ocean acidification. The study would focus on how it has affected or potentially will affect commercially harvested and grown species along the Massachusetts coast, and how to mitigate it. Ocean acidification occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by seawater, reducing the amount of pH in the water.

National Geographic Magazine explains, “Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the early 1800s, fossil fuel-powered machines have driven an unprecedented burst of human industry and advancement. The unfortunate consequence, however, has been the emission of billions of tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into Earth’s atmosphere.” The magazine notes that half of this man-made CO2 has been absorbed over time by the oceans. While this has benefited Earth by slowing the climate change these emissions would have caused if they had remained in the air, there is also a downside. Research is discovering that the massive amounts of CO2 are altering water chemistry and affecting the life cycles of many marine organisms.

The Sun Chronicle, 28 August 2016. Full article.

 


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