Sobering news: we’ve just read that the world’s oceans are becoming acidic at an “unprecedented rate.” Sadly, the addition of so much carbon has altered the chemistry of the waters, which would affect many discovered, and yet to be discovered, surf breaks around the world.[caption id="attachment_3879" align="alignleft" width="590" caption="Source: BBC"][/caption]
In their strongest statement yet on this issue, scientists are worried, saying acidification could increase by 170% by 2100, and that some 30% of ocean species, including corals, are unlikely to survive in these conditions. The more acidic oceans become, the more damaging they are to the shells and skeletons of marine organisms.
The researchers conclude that human emissions of CO2 are clearly to blame, as we consume fossil fuels to feed our appetites for energy-intensive lifestyles. There’s “very high confidence” that increasing acidification is caused by human activities, which are adding 24 million tonnes of CO2 to oceans every day.
Due to human activities, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has been rising extensively since the Industrial Revolution and has now reached dangerous levels not seen in the last 3 million years.
Currently, the Arctic and Antarctic oceans are feeling the effects of acidity the most. These chilly waters hold more CO2 and increasing levels of the gas are turning them acidic more rapidly than the rest of the world.
So, what can we do?
Marine protection zones will give some short term benefit, but scientists say that in the long term, only significant cuts in emissions will slow the progress of acidification.
87 percent of all human-produced carbon dioxide emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and oil. The remainder results from the clearing of forests and other land use changes (9%), as well as some industrial processes such as cement manufacturing (4%).
What do you think… let’s limit their use, no? Food for thought.