Thursday, August 23, 2012

Increased CO2 to cause extinction of many marine species

Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels continue to grow, primarily because world is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels. If we fail to reduce further growth in CO2 emissions this will cause further temperature increase and lead to rapid increase in ocean acidity.

 The U.S. scientists from the University of California say that our planet will warm at least 2 degrees Celsius by the middle of this century in the business as usual scenario. This will increase acidity of our oceans by more than 60 percent, leading to likely extinction of many marine species.

The scientists also believe that current protection policies and management practices are inadequate and won't be enough to save many marine species from extinction.

The successful marine management is about to become extremely difficult, if not impossible, and world leaders should be already addressing this issue in hope to at least find solutions that would reduce the total damage to marine ecosystems.

Why are oceans becoming more acidic with the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere? This is because oceans sink giant quantities of C02 (about one quarter of our global carbon emissions), and the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere the more of it will be absorbed by oceans.

Among species most vulnerable to ocean acidification are corals and shellfish. The species with calcium carbonate skeletons and shells such as corals have very small chance to adapt to these changes in acidity and many of them will likely perish from our oceans, resulting in a gigantic damage to entire marine food web because these species play vital role at the bottom of marine food chain.

The only way to stop ocean acidity is to stabilize or reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere, and quite frankly this can't be done without an international climate deal. Given the current state of global politics, new climate deal is nowhere to be seen.

The world leaders still fail to spot the magnitude of this major environmental issue, and are much more worried about global financial situation than how our planet feels and looks.

Biodiversity in our oceans needs to be preserved because this is one of the things on which our future wellbeing will depend on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment