Oceans Are Acidifying Far Faster, Threatening Mass Marine Extinctions

Oceans Are Acidifying Far Faster, Imperiling Marine Life On A Massive Scale, say studies, reports Craig Welch at the Seattle Times. Studies of ocean tropical areas naturally acidified by carbon dioxide indicate that colorful and diverse coral reefs will be replaced by brown bushy algae in 60 to 80 years. For every person, a bowling ball weight of carbon dioxide produced from human activities, especially burning fossil fuels, enters the ocean daily – imagine, 7 billion bowling balls of carbon dioxide.  That carbon dioxide becomes carbonic acid, acidifying the seawater. This acidity makes it difficult for sea creatures to acquire needed to form shells and skeletons. Oysters and mussels have already been affected in the northwest US, and this acidity is suspected to be interfering with clams and scallops, too. Oceans have acidified by 30% since the late 1700s, with half of that occurring just in the last 20 years, so the process is speeding up faster than ever imagined, especially in polar areas, and far faster than past prehistoric acidification periods that witnessed mass marine extinctions. Such extinctions would be a major disaster for humanity.

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.


For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte


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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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