29 Feb '16, 1am

Ocean acidification: Decline of Great Barrier Reef likely to be worse than feared

Ocean acidification: Decline of Great Barrier Reef likely to be worse than feared

The first-of-a-kind study of more than 3,000 coral reefs off the northeast coast of Australia reveals how some parts are already experiencing the kind of conditions scientists were predicting many decades from now. This means the decline of the iconic ecosystem is likely to be steeper than scientists feared, say the team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation ( CSIRO ) in Australia and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. Building blocks Since humans began industrialising, the oceans have absorbed about 30 per cent of the extra carbon dioxide (CO2 ) in the atmosphere. This is changing the chemistry of the seawater. With a pH of around 8, seawater is naturally alkaline. But, as the oceans absorb CO2 , it turns to carbonic acid. This doesn’t immediately make the oceans acidic, but it is causing them to become ...

Full article: http://www.eco-business.com/news/ocean-acidification-decl...

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