Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

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The reason some popular posts are tagged ‘no title’ is not because they have no title—they all do—but because the old Blogger embedded the title at the top of text, and the new software does not see that. You can see the titles in capitals at the start of each snippet. (It would be nice if Blogger introduced an upgrade program that could fix this little problem.)

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Saturday, 20 October 2007

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION EVEN WORSE THAN GOH?

Serious acidification of the oceans caused by dissolved CO2 seems to be taking place over decades rather than the centuries originally predicted, with potentially devastating effects for corals and the marine organisms that build reefs and provide much of the Earth's breathable oxygen.

Corals and plankton with chalky skeletons are at the base of the marine food-chain. They rely on seawater saturated with calcium carbonate to form their skeletons (the process is called calcification). But as acidity rises, saturation falls, making that harder and harder.

'When CO2 levels in the atmosphere reach 500ppm, you put calcification out of business in the oceans,' says Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of CoECRS and the University of Queensland (present levels are 385ppm, increasing at 2-3ppm per year).

'Global warming is incredibly serious, but ocean acidification could be even more serious.'

See Science Daily for the full report.