Ocean Acidification

 

About a quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed by the earth’s oceans, where they’re having an impact that’s just starting to be understood.  Higher CO2 concentrations cause ocean waters to become more acidic. In a more acidic ocean, calcium carbonate, the foundation of the shells and skeletons of many aquatic organisms, starts to dissolve.  This process will not only harm some of our favorite seafood, such as lobster and mussels, but will also injure some species of smaller marine organisms -- things such as pteropods and coccolithophores.  You’ve probably never heard of them, but they form a vital part of the food web and are an important salmon food. If those smaller organisms are wiped out, the larger animals that feed on them could suffer, as well.  Ocean acidification  “ ... is destined to be one of the biggest issues humanity has ever faced ”, says reef expert Dr. Charlie Veron.

Learn more at the websites below, then explore the rest of the Sitka Global Warming Group website for ways to reduce your carbon footprint and, in turn, slow the acidification of our oceans: