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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Monday, 9 June 2008

DEADLY EFFECT OF RISE IN OCEAN ACIDITY

Scientists studying life round natural CO2 vents in the Mediterranean have found exactly the effect predicted--a significant drop in biodiversity--reports the BBC.

The oceans are thought to have absorbed about half the extra CO2 put into the atmosphere in the industrial age, which has lowered its pH by 0.1, from 8.2 to 8.1, i.e., made it more acidic (pH is the measure of acidity and alkalinity, with 0 being very acidic, 7 being neutral, and 14 is very alkaline--seawater is mildly alkaline). Adding CO2 to water creates carbonic acid; the more added the more the acid is produced.

Round the vents studied, the pH went as low as 7.4. Even at 7.8 to 7.9 the number of species was down 30%.

The leader of the research said 'It's clear that marine food-webs as we know them are going to alter, and biodiversity will decrease. Those impacts are inevitable because acidification is inevitable--we've started it and we can't stop it.'