More consequences of man's addiction to fossil fuels
The Atlantic Ocean Is Acidifying at a Rapid RateA new study finds the ocean is absorbing 50 percent more carbon than it was a decade ago, and that could have dire consequences for dolphins, whales, and other marine life.
Author Emily J. Gertz is an associate editor for environment and wildlife at TakePart.
Over the past 10 years, the Atlantic Ocean has soaked up 50 percent more carbon dioxide than it did the decade before, measurably speeding up the acidification of the ocean, according to a new study.
The paper published Saturday in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles, “shows the large impact all of us are having on the environment,” Ryan Woosley, of the University of Miami, said in a statement. “Our use of fossil fuels isn’t only causing the climate to change, but also affects the oceans by decreasing the pH.”
Burning oil, coal, and natural gas for energy and destruction of forests are the leading causes of the carbon dioxide emissions driving climate change. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 355 parts per million in 1989 to just over 400 ppm in 2015.
Decreasing pH in seawater can harm the ability of shelled organisms, from microscopic coccolithophores to the oysters and clams that show up on our dinner plates, to build and maintain their bony exteriors.