Carbon Sinks, Impacts, Oceans, Politics

National Science Academies Warn of Oceanic Acidifcation

Oceans

Seventy National Science Academies from around the world have issued a joint statement today warning of increasing oceanic acidification in advance of a conference of governmental representatives from around the world in Bonn, Germany this week to discuss climate change. The Academies urged the participants to include acidification on the agenda for the governmental talks on climate change scheduled for Copenhagen later this year.

Often referenced as “the other CO2 problem”, oceanic acidification refers to the rapid absorption of carbon dioxide by the world’s oceans. The pH level of ocean waters is changing as CO2 is being added as a result of industrial emissions faster than ocean currents can carry surface level carbon down to the depths. This change in pH can have significant impacts on ocean life, particular those that require calcium carbonate to grow and survive, a category that includes the world’s coral reefs, the home of a large percentage of the world’s ocean specifies.

“The implications of ocean acidification cannot be overstated. Unless we cut our global CO2 emissions by at least 50% by 2050 and thereafter, we could be looking at fundamental and immutable changes in the makeup of our marine biodiversity. The effects will be seen worldwide, threatening food security, reducing coastal protection and damaging the local economies that may be least able to tolerate it.”
– Chen Zhu and Howard Alper, Co-Chairs, InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP)

Historically, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have changed over thousands of years, enabling the cycling of carbon from the surface to sediments on the ocean floor and providing ocean-based life time to adapt. However, industrial emissions and rises in atmospheric carbon dioxide content are happening so fast, ocean currents cannot compensate, and species cannot adapt fast enough.

This significant influence on the oceanic ecosystem can have dramatic impacts on entire food chains and the human societies that depend on them.


Additional Reading:

Advertisements

Discussion

One thought on “National Science Academies Warn of Oceanic Acidifcation

  1. Here is a link to a short movie called, Acid Test, The global challenge of ocean acidification. We must reduce manmade CO2 emission which are causing global warming and ocean acidification, through a strong and binding Copenhagen climate agreement in December.

    Posted by tmakashi | October 29, 2009, 1:31 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Connect

   

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9 other followers

Categories

Archives

The Consensus

173 professional scientific organizations (and counting) around the world acknowledge the global impact of rising emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities

The Indicators

Climate Change Indicators Climate Change Indicators NASA GISS - Global Annual Mean Surface Air Temperature ChangeGlobal Temperature Sea level change from 1993 to the present day Global Sea Level Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Anomaly, 1979-Present Arctic Ice Melt Glacial Retreat, 1980-2010 Glacial Retreat Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations, Mauna Loa Atmospheric CO2 Level
%d bloggers like this: