Speed of ocean acidification concerns scientists

Sep 27, 2012
Speed of ocean acidification concerns scientists

Speaking at the Third International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World this week in Monterey, California, Dr Daniela Schmidt, a geologist from the University of Bristol, warned that current rates of ocean acidification are unparalleled in Earth history.

Dr Schmidt of Bristol's School of Earth Sciences said: "Ocean acidification has happened before sometimes with large consequences for .  But within the last 300 million years, never has the rate of ocean acidification been comparable to the ongoing acidification."

She added that the most comparable event, most likely 10 times slower than the current acidification, was 55 million years ago.

"At that time, species responded to the warming, acidification, change in nutrient input and loss of oxygen – the  same processes that we now see in our oceans.  The geological record shows changes in , changes in species composition, changes in calcification and growth and in a few cases extinction," she said.

"Our current acidification rates are unparalleled in Earth history and lead most ecosystems into unknown territory."

That rate of change was echoed by Dr Claudine Hauri, an oceanographer from the University of Alaska Fairbanks: "The waters up and down the coast from our conference site here in are particularly prone to the effects of ocean acidification.  The chemistry of these waters is changing at such a rapid pace that organisms now experience conditions that are different from what they have experienced in the past. And within about 20 or 30 years, the chemistry again will be different from that of even today."

A paper by Dr Schmidt and colleagues on the of was published in Science in March 2012.

Explore further: Priorities for research on pharmaceutical and personal care products in the environment

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Increased acidity not an even test for coral reefs

Nov 10, 2011

Coral reefs can both positively and negatively influence the acidity of their surrounding seawater. That is the take-home message of two papers recently published in the international journal Global Change Bi ...

Scientist creates new hypothesis on ocean acidification

Aug 30, 2011

A Researcher at the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology, an organized research unit in the University of Hawai'i at Manoa's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology has come up with a new explanation for the effects ...

Recommended for you

Implications for the fate of green fertilizers

7 hours ago

The use of green fertilizers is a practice that has been around since humans first began growing food, but researchers are warning that modern techniques for the creation of these fertilizers could have implications ...

Ditching coal a massive step to climate goal: experts

8 hours ago

Phasing out coal as an electricity source by 2050 would bring the world 0.5 degrees Celsius closer to the UN's targeted cap for climate warming, an analysis said on the eve of Tuesday's UN climate summit.

Monitoring heavy metals using mussels

12 hours ago

A research team in Malaysia has concluded that caged mussels are useful for monitoring heavy metal contamination in coastal waters in the Strait of Johore. Initial results indicate more pollution in the eastern ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

VendicarD
1 / 5 (2) Sep 27, 2012
All of the worlds scientists appear to be in on this global warming conspiracy.

The only unbiased scientists left are the ones paid by Exxon and the Koch Brothers either directly or through money laundering by Libertarian propaganda groups like the CATO institution, the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage foundation etc.