(Ocean Acidification Facts) - '..the ocean has absorbed so much CO2 that overall acidity levels are rising, and at a much faster rate than previously thought.'

Posted by ProjectC 
'..We have changed the basic chemistry of the oceans — drop by drop — in such a profound way that we may be destroying a web of life that we depend upon for our very existence. Those ocean creatures should be wary of us — not the other way around.

The basic science is pretty straightforward: Since the industrial revolution, humans have been pumping ever increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the air. Some of that CO2 is absorbed by the ocean, where it dissolves to form carbonic acid.

The ocean today absorbs nearly a third of the carbon dioxide we produce, probably mitigating the impact of climate change. But the ocean has absorbed so much CO2 that overall acidity levels are rising, and at a much faster rate than previously thought.

More acidic water makes it harder — and ultimately impossible — for some creatures like oysters, corals, and mussels to form shells, which are made largely from the calcium carbonate, plain old chalk, that occurs naturally in seawater. That’s why acidification is sometimes referred to as “osteoporosis of the sea.”

This process affects creatures up and down the food chain — from the tiny organisms that build the planet’s coral reefs and the plankton drifting with the ocean currents, all the way to the whales that feed on the plankton.

Also affected are the lentil bean-sized pteropods, delicate, balletic creatures that nourish many of the fish we then consume. In other words, the ability of all ocean life to sustain itself is being compromised.

Scientists have been surprised at how sensitive plants and animals are to even small changes in CO2 levels. For many creatures, acid is deadly. Their shells disintegrate. And many scientists are concerned that we are changing the ocean’s chemistry faster than many organisms can adapt.


And there is only one known way to stop acidification: to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.

The more we reduce now, the less severe, and costly, the future consequences.'

- Moms Clean Air Force (is a community of moms and dads united against air pollution), Ocean Acidification Facts

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