Oceans Decline Speeds Up Alarmingly, Massive Extinctions Likely Underway

Oceans Are Declining  Alarmingly Faster Than Thought, in terms of a deadly trio of factors, becoming warmer, more acidic AND losing ever more oxygen, say marine scientists of two reputable international scientific organizations in a new review, reports Mariette Le Roux at Agence France Presse. The scientific review by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature cautioned of unprecedented ocean acidification as humans keep burning fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide, about a third of which is absorbed by the sea. Today’s rate of carbon release, about 30 gigatonnes of CO2 annually, was at least 10 times faster than that which preceded the last major species extinction on Earth 55 million years ago. The level of ocean acidification is unparallelled in at least 300 million years, it added.  Meanwhile, fertilizer and sewage runoff worldwide create gigantic plankton booms that deplete oxygen, resulting in large, spreading coastal dead zones. “We are… exposing organisms to intolerable evolutionary pressure,” the report said, adding “The next mass (species) extinction event may have already begun.”  The authors urged a dramatic cut in carbon emissions.

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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