Surprise Rise in Ocean Acidity
Author: Lily Kosmicki
Source: Green Answers
August 15, 2012
"The extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that contributes to global warming doesn’t just mean trouble for land inhabitants; the ocean is growing more and more acidic due the excess carbon dioxide floating around. The ocean has absorbed the extra carbon dioxide, which has surprised and concerned scientists.
The coral reef is most ocean life threatened by the rising acid levels and what has been described as a sort of “osteoporosis” is causing the reef to die (resulting in a white bleached coloring). High levels of ocean acidity hinder and sometimes prevent the formation of coral skeletons. The reef is a strong entity, but the skeletal thinning will cause severe deterioration. Coral reefs are also the producers of seashells. The death of the reed, particularly in Australia, threatens a variety of sectors including tourism and food security.
This surprising new revelation has provoked a lot of concern because of the serious consequences it has on the ocean and ocean life. Climate change in general has devastating consequences, but this new factor is considered unprecedented as well as unexpected. Scientists initially expected that the carbon dioxide being absorbed by the water would dilute as shallow and deep waters mixed together. Unfortunately for the reef, the carbon dioxide is settling in the shallow waters, making them much more acidic than usual."
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