Acid Test – Natural Resources Defense Council (2009)

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution a quarter of the carbon that has been released into the atmosphere was absorbed by the oceans. As a result the acidity of the oceans has increased by %30. Increasing acidity makes it corrosive dissolving the calcium shells of marine organisms. Among them are planktons, corals and pteropods which form the base of the food web. Carbon dioxide dissolves higher quantities in cold water, therefore first biological signs of acidification is observed closer to the Poles and is already beginning to take toll on lobster fisheries and future projections look rather bleak.

The documentary gathers an influential group of scientists warning us for the consequences. Ken Caldeira of Carnegie Institution, Victoria Fabry of California State University, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of University of Queensland, Steve Palumbi of Stanford University and Lisa Suatoni of Natural Resources Defence Council emphasize the compelling urgency of the problem.

Throughout the geological history of our planet we know that such events has happened and lead to global extinctions. For instance, we must learn lessons from Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) that triggered ocean acidification 56 million years ago.

In April 2011 issue of National Geographic an article by Elizabeth Kolbert covered this pressing issue of ocean acidification. Understanding dynamics of our oceans is crucial for our survival. Scientists are working hard to find ways to battle and mitigate ocean acidification.

 

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