Global warming turning oceans acidic ten times faster than thought

by Owen James

While the world fiddles and wonders what Paris Hilton will do next, the oceans continue their speedy decline into ecological wasteland.

The latest dire news? According to a new study by Chicago University, acidification could be proceeding far faster than previously predicted:

The study monitored seawater pH levels at the northeast Pacific island of Tatoosh off Washington state in the United States.

Timothy Wootton, from Chicago University, said scientists found that acidity levels rose at more than 10 times the rate predicted by computer models designed to study the link between atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and ocean acidity.

Atmospheric CO2 levels have increased by about 100 parts per million since the start of the industrial revolution and are now at their highest point in at least 650,000 years.

As much as a third of man made CO2 emissions have been absorbed by the oceans. Even if you still don’t believe global warming is caused by rising CO2 levels, it’s a fact it’s changing the chemistry of the oceans.

Together with rampant overfishing and pollution, it adds up to a bleak picture for lovers of marine ecosystems, let alone those of us who’d keep a small portion in our homes.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in 2007 that most coral reefs would be gone by the end of the century due to rising ocean temperature and acidity. The Chicago study, however, suggests that even the rate of acidification used by the IPCC scientists in their assessment was too low.

Professor Wootton:

“An alarming surprise is how rapidly pH has declined over the study period … These data point to the urgency of obtaining a globally extensive set of ocean pH data through time, and suggest that our understanding of ocean pH may be incomplete.”

Read the Ultimate Secrets To Saltwater Fish And Invertebrates.

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