Ocean acidification needs more publicity as part of a strategy to avoid a global decline in calcifier populations

Ocean acidification (OA) is caused by increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, which dissolves in seawater to produce carbonic acid. This carbonic acid reduces the availability of dissolved aragonite needed for production of some invertebrate exoskeletons with potentially severe consequences for marine calcifier populations. There is a lack of public information on OA with less than 1% of press coverage on OA compared with climate change; OA is not included in UK GCSE and A Level specifications and textbooks; environmental campaigners are much less active in campaigning about OA compared with climate change. As a result of the lack of public awareness OA is rarely discussed in the UK Parliament. Much more public education about OA is needed so that people can respond to the urgent need for technological and lifestyle changes needed to massively reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Westgarth-Smith A. R., in press. Ocean acidification needs more publicity as part of a strategy to avoid a global decline in calcifier populations. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Article (subscription required).

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