National Research Council Study Finds CO2 Emissions Causing Ocean Acidification at Unprecedented Rate

The chemistry of the ocean is changing at an unprecedented rate and magnitude due to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions; the rate of change exceeds any known to have occurred for at least for at least 800,000 years, concludes a congressionally requested study by the US National Research Council. Unless anthropogenic... Read more →

Synthesis Study Finds Ocean Acidification from CO2 Emissions Could Increase by 150% by 2050; Substantial Irreversible Damage to Ocean Ecosystems

Given increasing emissions of CO2 and the subsequent increased absorption by the oceans, ocean acidity could increase by 150% by 2050, according to a major new review and synthesis study released by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This is an increase 100 times faster than any... Read more →

Carbon cycle. Credit: Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal. Click to enlarge. A “Blue Carbon” fund able to invest in the maintenance and rehabilitation of key marine ecosystems should be considered by governments to combat climate change, according to a new Rapid Response Report released by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the... Read more →

Statement from 70 National Science Academies Calls for Inclusion of Ocean Acidification in Copenhagen Agenda

Ocean acidification, a direct consequence of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, must be part of the agenda at the United Nations Copenhagen conference, the world’s science academies warned in a joint statement published by the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP). 70 national science academies signed the statement. Ocean acidification is... Read more →

Marine Scientists Issue Monaco Declaration Calling for Immediate Action to Reduce Ocean Acidification

Projected spread of acidification of the oceans from 1994 (left) to 2100 (right). Green areas indicate waters supersaturated with aragonite carbonate and favoring shell formation, with darker color indicating more favorable conditions. Red areas are those where waters are under-saturated in aragonite and so hostile to shell formation by marine... Read more →

Study Finds Rate of Ocean Acidification Faster than Expected

University of Chicago scientists have found that the ocean is growing more acidic faster than previously thought. In addition, they have found that the increasing acidity correlates with increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a paper published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on... Read more →

Two New Studies Detail Impact and Acceleration of Ocean Acidification in Different Regions

The potential for coral growth—represented by aragonite concentration—in the Caribbean region is dramatically changing due to ocean acidification. Click to view an animation of changes from 1988 to 2007. Credit: NOAA Two recently published studies highlight the growing impact of ocean acidification—the lowering of the pH of seawater due to... Read more →

Study: Avoiding Damage from Ocean Acidification May Require Deeper Cuts in CO2 Emissions Than to Mitigate Climate Change

The white contour lines illustrate the expected maximum pH decrease of average surface ocean waters in the future (in pH units) as a function of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions (in petagrams of carbon) and release time (in years). Click to enlarge Several studies conducted previously explored the detrimental impact of... Read more →

Rising Levels of Carbon Dioxide Threat to Marine Organisms

The shelled pteropod—an important food source for fish—is a small planktonic marine snail that may be unable to sustain its populations as the oceans become less alkaline. (Photo: Victoria Fabry, California State University, San Marcos). A new report finds that worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil... Read more →

The Other CO2 Problem: Ocean Acidification

Increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 are causing the increasing acidification of our oceans, to the rising concern of many scientists. Unrelated to climate change, this is an issue of basic chemistry: atmospheric CO2 is absorbed by and reacts with seawater to form carbonic acid (H2CO3). Increasing acidity could have profound... Read more →