Oceans Acidifying Faster
Last Updated on 2012-03-02 00:00:00
If too much carbon dioxide enters the ocean too quickly, it can deplete the carbonate ions that corals, mollusks and some plankton need for reef and shell-building.
Oceans Acidifying Faster Today
Than in Past 300 Million Years
Few parallels for today's rapid ocean changes in geologic record
The oceans may be acidifying faster today than they did in the last 300 million years, according to scientists publishing a paper this week in the journal Science. "What we're doing today really stands out in the geologic record," says lead author Bärbel Hönisch, a paleoceanographer at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. "We know that life during past ocean acidification events was not wiped out--new species evolved to replace those that died off. But if industrial carbon emissions continue at the current pace, we may lose... More »