Monday, June 9, 2008

As human-created CO2 increases in the air, so does the oceans acidity

Regardless of whether increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) will cause global warming, we know it will cause the oceans to become more acidic.

Corals and shellfish and calcareous algae, such as in the image below, rely on a low-acid ocean to produce their skeleton, and if the oceans become more acidic these animals and plants will not be able to grow properly.
The native Top Shell snails, and the pink calcareous algae in this tide pool,
rely on a stable and alkali ocean chemistry that is now being made
more acidic by anthropogenic CO
2. Image (c) 2007 T. Murdoch

The only way to safely remove the additional CO2 that we have added to the atmosphere is to reduce emissions (exhaust) from cars, factories and other petroleum and coal burning sources.

You can read more about this global problem here (New Scientist) and how local scientists at BIOS are researching it here (BIOS).