Ocean acidification is a planetary emergency : University of California video

We provide here the link to the University of California YouTube video which explains why ocean acidification, caused by CO2 released into the atmosphere from fossil fuel burning which in turn is absorbed from the atmosphere into the oceans, is causing a life survival crisis — in short, a planetary emergency.

Ocean acidification (a reduction in the oceans’ natural alkalinity) due to CO2 absorption is changing the chemical composition of sea water worldwide. Put simply, increased CO2 present in sea water in the form of carbonic acid is reducing the availability of calcium carbonates in the water column. Calcium carbonates are the chemical compounds essential for the formation of sea shells and marine skeletons.

Nearly all sea life, from fish to phytoplanktonphytoplankton Microscopic marine plants, usually algae. These microscopic plants are at the base of the food chain, and are the food of zooplankton (microscopic marine animals). Note: phytoplankton are microscopic plants, and zooplankton are microscopic animals. (tiny marine plants) have a skeletal structure which require calcium carbonates, and if calcium carbonates become reduced in availability due to acidification then sea life cannot form adequate skeletons, and dies. This is happening at the present time.

Coral reefs, which are at the centre of marine biodiversitybiodiversity Biological diversity in an environment as indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals. (a key habitat for the ocean’s ecology) are dying due to acidification, and phytoplankton (tiny marine plants) are a key food source for marine life.

Marine phytoplankton which are present throughout the ocean, and have a tiny calcium carbonate skeleton, also have another central planetary ecological function. They recycle and re-generate about 50% of the planet’s oxygen. Worryingly, marine scientists estimate that worldwide marine phytoplankton levels have fallen by around 40% over the last 50 years.

The only way to arrest this planetary emergency in the oceans is to halt the burning of fossil fuels.

The planetary issue is simple. If the oceans die, the planet dies. CO2 in the atmosphere is much more than global warming and climate change. It is a fundamental change in the chemistry of the sea. If we alter the chemistry of the planet, life as we know it can no longer function. That is precisely what is happening at the present time in the oceans.

See this University of California video link, and see how Marinet believes we can change ocean governance and management via this link to Conserving the Great Blue, written by Marinet Member, Deborah Wright

Source: Ocean Acidification – Revolution World Issue, Published on 3rd March 2014: An in-depth look at ocean acidification with scientists Charlie Veron, Katharina Fabricius, Boris Worm and Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, narrated by Rob Stewart, Director of the film Revolution. For full details, see www.youtube.com/watch?v=il7f94v8o1k

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