The hidden 'evil twin' of climate change

November 13, 2014
The hidden 'evil twin' of climate change

According to the results of a major new national survey published by the University, the majority of the British public has a very low awareness of the issue of ocean acidification, with around only one-in-five participants stating they had even heard of the issue.

The oceans are currently absorbing large quantities of the which has been emitted into the atmosphere from human activities. This absorption of CO2 is leading to a reduction in the pH of seawater – termed ''. According to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ocean acidification is the hidden face of increasing and poses a future threat to a range of marine ecosystems and the societies which depend upon them.

Although many other aspects of global are readily recognised by the general public, we know far less about how they view ocean acidification. Researchers from the School of Psychology have conducted the first comprehensive survey of the British public's views on this topic, interviewing over 2,500 people across the country.

The study reveals:

Very low awareness of ocean acidification:

  • Only around 1 in 5 participants state that they have even heard of ocean acidification. Among those who do say they have heard of it, levels of self-reported knowledge about the subject are very low.
  • Additionally, we found no significant increase in levels of awareness following the Inter-governmental Panel (IPCC) scientific reports published in April 2014.

Some people do associate ocean acidification with climate change

  • The term Ocean Acidification itself evokes associations with pollution and negative environmental consequences. A surprisingly large proportion of those surveyed (38%) also correctly attribute anthropogenic carbon emissions as the main cause of ocean acidification, though as many again (34%) perceived that it is caused by 'pollution' from shipping.
  • Damage to coral reefs and consequences for marine organisms were correctly recognised by many as important consequences of ocean acidification.

Concern increases with knowledge. Distrust remains.

  • While most people do not initially express concern about ocean acidification, once provided with some basic additional information a clear majority (64%) do then express concern about the subject.
  • Half of those surveyed thought ocean acidification should be a fairly or very high priority for action by the British Government, although very few trust the Government to give correct information about the issue.

Professor Nick Pidgeon, from Cardiff University's Understanding Risk Group at the School of Psychology, who lead the team which carried out the research, explained:

"Ocean acidification is a hidden impact of – often described as the 'evil twin' of climate change. While the scientific evidence increasingly shows it will be of critical importance for the future health of marine life, public awareness remains stubbornly low. It is nevertheless encouraging to see that when it is properly explained to them many who took part in the research became concerned about the issue. The results point to a clear need to further engage the public in more innovative ways, by changing the narrative about climate change to further emphasise this most important of environmental risk issues."

Explore further: Marine bacteria unfazed by rising ocean acidification

More information: psych.cf.ac.uk/understandingrisk/reports/cardiff_ocean_acidification.pdf

Related Stories

Scientists sound alarm over ocean acidification

October 8, 2014

Ocean acidification has risen by a quarter since pre-industrial times as a result of rising carbon emissions, casting a shadow over the seas as a future source of food, scientists warned on Wednesday.

How corals can actually benefit from climate change effects

November 5, 2014

Researchers from Northeastern University's Marine Science Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that moderate ocean acidification and warming can actually enhance the growth rate of one reef-building ...

Recommended for you

The sound of a healthy reef

August 26, 2016

A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will help researchers understand the ways that marine animal larvae use sound as a cue to settle on coral reefs. The study, published on August 23rd in the ...

18 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Water_Prophet
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 13, 2014
So fans of the Water_Prophet will recognize this goes hand in glove with the concept of CO2 increase through the phenomenon theatrically named, no doubt to create scorn, "Dead Zones."
http://disc.sci.g...es.shtml
Their lack of CO2 absorption by plants leads only to a aqueous absorption. Which leads to acidification.
So related to climate change, absolutely, just not to a warm one.
Shootist
1 / 5 (7) Nov 13, 2014
'evil twin' of climate change


Dishpan hands?
gkam
4.6 / 5 (9) Nov 13, 2014
Wise cracks from the uneducated? Got any Hydrion papers?

Know how to use them?
JoeBlue
1 / 5 (5) Nov 13, 2014
Calling it fact still, but no evidence.
imido
Nov 13, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
gkam
3.9 / 5 (7) Nov 13, 2014
Somebody show imido how to use Hydrion papers.

Look up what Yogi Berra said about theory and practice.
gkam
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 13, 2014
"The heating of oceans by itself actually leads to desorption of CO2, which will fizzle out."
------------------------------------------

We will have fizzled out long before that.
Captain Stumpy
4.5 / 5 (8) Nov 14, 2014
no evidence
@joeblow
ignore the evidence and then say there is no evidence?
http://phys.org/n...firstCmt
http://www.scienc...abstract
http://www.resear...b48a.pdf
http://iod.ucsd.e...meps.pdf
http://www.annual...8.163834
http://naosite.lb...69/20919
http://onlinelibr...abstract
http://onlinelibr...abstract

we can even differentiate anthropogenic CO2 from inorganic carbon in the oceans
just because you are stupid doesn't mean everyone is
try reading the SCIENCE once in a while, eh?
Captain Stumpy
4.5 / 5 (8) Nov 14, 2014
Somebody show imido how to use Hydrion papers.

Look up what Yogi Berra said about theory and practice.
@gkam
it will not do any good... imido is ZEPHIR
she has already made up her mind that AGW is actually space related and likely due to the effects of aw/daw in her head

things like evidence and science are not relevant to ZEPHIR and have no effect on her thought process, as proven in various threads where you can see the support for a known falsified philosophy

Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (6) Nov 14, 2014
The heating of oceans by itself actually leads to desorption of CO2, which will fizzle out.
@ZEPHIR/imido
so, tell us all, zeph
what was so wrong about the posts ,Z?

is there evidence that you have refuting the studies above or are you simply angry because i pointed out that you don't need evidence to believe in something as long as you can tie it in somehow to your delusional belief in aw/daw? LOL

after all, you can see here: http://exphy.uni-...2009.pdf

aw/daw is falsified and proven, to a VERY high degree, to be non-existent and thus false

therefore you MUST be arguing about the science behind AGW, right?

so, where is this refuting evidence that is equivalent to the studies that i linked?

or is that part of your Dunning-Kruger?
ignore the evidence for the sake of your faith?
:-D
LMFAO
antigoracle
1 / 5 (6) Nov 15, 2014
Wise cracks from the uneducated? Got any Hydrion papers?

Know how to use them?
--gkamtard
The stupid cracks of the idiot. Hey gkam, eat any switchgrass lately?
gkam
4.5 / 5 (8) Nov 15, 2014
Do the Deniers feel embarrassed yet? It is pretty easy to take pH measurements.
Shootist
1 / 5 (5) Nov 15, 2014
Do the Deniers feel embarrassed yet? It is pretty easy to take pH measurements.


Denying what? Man caused Globull Warming?

"The polar bears will be fine" - Freeman Dyson.

We don't deny that the climate changes. We deny that human activities caused the warming seen from 1800 CE to 1998 CE.

"Generally speaking, I'm much more of a conformist, but it happens I have strong views about climate because I think the majority is badly wrong, and you have to make sure if the majority is saying something that they're not talking nonsense." - Freeman Dyson

So, as I said earlier, "Dishpan hands"?
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (6) Nov 15, 2014
We deny that human activities caused the warming seen from 1800 CE to 1998 CE
@shooty
in other words, you deny the SCIENCE
http://www.scienc...abstract
http://www.resear...b48a.pdf
http://iod.ucsd.e...meps.pdf
http://www.annual...8.163834
http://naosite.lb...69/20919
http://onlinelibr...abstract
http://onlinelibr...abstract

i would call you "dishpan brains", but i think that would be too nice

stop TROLLING with that Dyson crap
it is irrelevant

try refuting the SCIENCE
or post equivalent studies supporting your conjectures
Sigh
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 16, 2014
Calling it fact still, but no evidence.

You were given links to evidence in another thread, and haven't responded. Did you not bother reading the links, or do you lack a counterargument?
Sigh
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 16, 2014
The heating of oceans by itself actually leads to desorption of CO2, which will fizzle out.

If the concentration of CO2 above the ocean surface remained the same. Do you seriously expect that?
gkam
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 16, 2014
Shootist makes me want to include the really stupid quotations from The Dubya in my posts. I have them by the hundreds!
antigoracle
1 / 5 (3) Nov 18, 2014
Hidden??
Try NONE EXISTENT

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.