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Ocean Acidification

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The future of fishing?
The future of fishing?

We spend a lot of time discussing the current CO2 outputs, and the threat it represents to people and ecosystems.   But, one of the areas that has not received a lot of coverage, is the impact it is having on the oceanic ecosystem.  CO2 in the air does not remain afloat indefinitely.  Besides circling the globe it settles into the earth and its oceans.  CO2 impact on the oceans is threatening to become a major problem for mankind.  As CO2 settles into the oceans it is absorbed by marine life.  Particularly marine life that grows shells.  Scientists have discovered that the shells of marine life have begun to dissolve into the oceans water system.  The dissolved shells contain higher levels of acid that are a direct result of CO2 absorption by this marine life.  This has raised acid levels within the ocean and has begun to affect marine ecosystems.  In addition, as shell marine life  absorbs the CO2 , it impairs their ability to grow protective shells.  Losing their shells impairs their ability to exist.  This is above and beyond global warming and of rising temperatures within the oceans.  The acid levels are impacting the ability of shell marine life to exist, and as it works up the marine food ladder, the ability of other marine life that subsist on these creatures to survive.   That ladder ends with our own harvesting of marine life for food.  Marine ecosystems now have a new threat to their existence and ours.   CO2 is no longer just about global warming and clean air.

John Vlahakis

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