Ocean Acidification: deadly and undeniable effect of climate change

  • Published on October 26th, 2012

fueled by climate change, ocean acidification is destroying coral reefsBy David Brin

More than half of the six billion-plus metric tons of carbon released annually into the atmosphere is absorbed by the Ocean. Phytoplankton alone process an estimated 22 million tons of CO2 each day.
This carbon sink does not come without consequence. In the last 100 years, our seas have become 30% more acidic, and that pace is accelerating. This increased acidity is impacting soft-shelled organisms such as crabs, shrimp, and oysters, many of which are unable to maintain their shells in this new, man-made acidic Ocean.
Now the crux. The ocean acidification trend lines come from entirely different sciences than those that study the greenhouse effect — research establishments in twenty countries that have nothing to do with atmospheric studies.  And no Koch-supported “institute” has found anything wrong with them.
Unlike atmospheric studies, here’s an area where your denialist uncle could take the samples and measure them, himself.  Two-thirds of our oxygen comes from the Ocean. But if rising acidity collapses the oceanic food chain, including phytoplankton, suffocation might be just one of many things we’ll sue the denialists for.  And tell your uncle that includes him.  The refugees will need homes.  The denialists will share or lose theirs, by simple tort law. Time to adapt, out of simple self-interest.
(Originally appeared at Contrary Brin. Image AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by only_point_five)

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