Friday, April 30, 2010


CO2 emission due to human activity, especially fossil fuel burning, is supposed to cause global warming and consequent damage to the ecosystem and human life. Now comes the report that the oceans act like a vast sink for CO2 absorption as more than two thirds of earth's surface is covered by water and the acidity of the oceans is increasing perceptibly due to dissolved CO2. According to eco scientists, such a change can bring about unprecedented changes in the marine life with catastrophic consequences.

"The level of acid in the oceans is increasing at an unprecedented rate and threatening to change marine ecosystems, says a new study by the US National Research Council. It says the oceans are absorbing more than 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide an hour - one-third of today's carbon dioxide emissions - and are 30 per cent more acidic than before the Industrial Revolution started roughly 200 years ago. Unless emissions are reduced, ocean acidity could increase by 200 per cent by the end of the century and even more in the next century, said James Barry, a senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California and one of the study's authors".

It is amazing how a mere drop in pH from 8.2 to 8.1 in two hundred years could have such serious repercussions on the marine eco system affecting practically every species that is sheltered by the sea. What is more alarming is the prediction that the pH drop can be steeper during the present century unless CO2 emission is brought under control through inter country cooperation and renewed resolve.


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