The world’s oceans are turning acidic much faster than any time in the past 300 million years, even more rapidly than during a monster emission of planet-warming carbon 56 million years ago. That emission caused a 5,000 year hot spell, and is the closest parallel to today’s current conditions, scientists said recently, reports Deborah Zebarenko at Reuters. Such periodic emissions were accompanied by massive extinction events. Researchers said that a review of hundreds of studies of ancient climate records published in the journal Science, could help forecast our own future. Acid seawater is eating away at coral reefs, important habitat for many animals and plants, and impeding shell formation in mussels, oysters and other shellfish, and harming food organisms of commercial fish like salmon. Oceans get more acid as more carbon gets into the atmosphere. In ancient times, periodic natural pulses of carbon also pushed up global temperatures, say scientists. But the current carbon pulse is human-driven from burning fossil fuels. Human-driven habitat loss is already fueling massive extinctions and harming humanity’s future. What we do in the next decades could influence the next several thousand years, say scientists.
To download or broadcast the audio podcast (90 seconds or shorter) go to: http://cooltheearth.us/climate-report.php
Oceans’ acidic shift may be fastest in 300 million years. The world’s oceans are turning acidic at what could be the fastest pace of any time in the past 300 million years, even more rapidly than during a monster emission of planet-warming carbon 56 million years ago, scientists said on Thursday. Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/01/us-climate-oceans-acid-idUSTRE82025S20120301