Ocean acidification crisis and global warming observations from tropical corals (text & video)

Human induced increases in atmospheric CO2 levels are warming the Earth’s ocean and also increasing the acidity of our shallow marine environments. This process, known as ocean acidification (OA), is caused by the absorption of atmospheric CO2 by the oceans and is threatening the ability of calcifying organisms to build their calcium carbonate skeletons. Our current understanding of the changes caused by OA in the tropical oceans is severely limited due to the lack of reliable long-term seawater pH monitoring and the difficulty in reconstructing past changes in pH and ocean chemistry in these remote environments. This project uses techniques to reconstruct past seawater conditions from long-living corals to observe the evolution of pH and carbonate chemistry in our tropical oceans. Improved multi-proxy techniques are also applied to observe sea surface temperature and hydroclimate changes over the past few hundred years to provide a historical context to our current climate crisis.

YouTube, 18 January 2022. Text and video.

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