While most of the attention on the impacts of carbon dioxide emissions has focused on its ability to act as a greenhouse gas, that warms the earth’s climate, the changes CO2 emissions will bring to the world’s oceans are receiving increasing attention. The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the more of it that dissolves into surface ocean water. That results in a small chemistry change that could cause huge changes in marine biology.
Marine organisms, like coral, that build skeletons out of calcium could find themselves unable to do so. The acidification of the oceans could result in the eradication of the world’s coral population. If that happens it would take about 2 million years for coral reefs to recover!
If current emissions trends continue over the next decade, the world’s marine creatures will be dealing with what’s essentially an acidic alien ocean. Uh oh! Read more here.
Some more research has just come in indicating that one third of the world’s coral reefs could be gone within the next generation! Because coral reefs are home to more than a quarter of all marine species, their loss could be devastating for biodiversity in the world’s oceans. Read more here, here or here.