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Ocean acidification: the "evil twin" of climate change Featured

"Over Earth’s history, ocean life has recovered from numerous sudden extinction episodes by adaptation and evolution of new species, but the time scales for extinction and re-population are millions of years, not a few hundred years. Human-driven ocean acidification is affecting the ocean far faster than the Earth’s natural recovery pace can accommodate. Today’s rate of acidification is 10 times faster than anything experienced since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago."

This quote is from the comprehensive booklet, 'Ocean Acidification: Questions Answered', published by The Ocean Acidification Reference User Group, a confederation of more than 160 marine scientists from across the globe.

As the headline 'the evil twin' suggests, ocean acidification (OA) is potentially as serious as predicted climate changes. This is because human-caused increases of CO2 in the atmosphere are projected to increase the acidity of the surface layers of the ocean by 150% before 2100. Only an immediate return to pre-industrial levels of CO2 in the atmosphere—an impossibility—could reverse the process of ocean acidification. OA is almost certain to produce a mass extinction event for life in the oceans with consequent impact on the food supplies for many land-based species, humans included.   

Rating
★★★★
3 votes
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Bite Details

Submitted by
John Russell
Created
2011-07-26
Com (2)
byWalter

September 5, 2011

2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Ocean acidification isn't getting the media coverage it deserves. Either that or we're getting so used to the flow of reports that we're starting to switch off. Not me, I like my seafood. Give me anchovies, hold the jellyfish. If trees are the lungs, maybe ocean is the "blood."
byTom Smerling

October 3, 2011

1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Interesting how a "sticky message" spreads. The first use of the phrase I found was by Miyoko Sakashita, attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, in August, 2007.

But after it was picked up by NOAA Administrator Janel Lubchenco in 2009, it became much more widely used. http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2169 Kudos to Dr. Lubchenco (a McArthur "Genius Grant" recipient, among other things) for using a sticky bite!

Google has a cool tool for tracking the historical usage of search words or phrases -- "Google Timeline"

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