November 27th, 2008
Acidity in our oceans is increasing at an alarming speed due to the rising levels of carbon dioxide. Several projects around the world have shown that the increasing acidity will harm many of our marine organisms and harm coral growth in many of the oceans. The increase in acidity is much worse than scientists had first anticipated, and fears for our seas strengthen.
Almost one-third of our carbon-dioxide emissions have dissolved into the seas forming carbonic acid in the process. This in turn lowers the alkalinity of the waters and makes it much more acidic. Fears that the acidity will spell an end to the coral reefs by the end of the century have augmented, and many reefs are in threat of disappearing by 2050. Studies in the Pacific Ocean have shown that shell-making organisms are under threat as well, as they are in need of a much more alkaline environment. Mussels, barnacles are shellfish would be unable to grow their strong calcified shells in the increasingly acidic waters.