Oceans Acidifying at Unprecedented Rates – Conference

Oceans are now acidifying faster than anytime in the past 300 million years of Earth’s history, noted Bristol University scientist Daniela  Schmidt recently, at the Third International Symposium on the Ocean in a High- CO2 World, reports Allison Winter at ENN.  As carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere, so does its absorption by oceans, where it acidifies them.  More acid oceans make it difficult for corals, shellfish and even fish to absorb the calcium needed for skeletons and shells. Although Schmidt noted similar prehistoric acidification events caused changes in species distribution and composition, the current rate is 10 times the fastest prehistoric acidification. University of Alaska oceanographer Dr Claudine Hauri, added, “The chemistry of these waters is changing at such a rapid pace that organisms now experience conditions that are different from what they have experienced in the past. And within about 20 or 30 years, the chemistry again will be different from that of even today.” Such changes are much faster than the ability to adapt to them, sparking fears among biologists that this could lead to large extinctions of marine life, including food species.

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http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/45006 ocean acidification happening at unprecedented rate….

From: Allison Winter, ENN
Published September 26, 2012 10:08 AM

About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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