In yet another example of how global warming is wreaking havoc on the Earth’s environment, a group of leading scientists from the UK’s Royal Society released a report last week detailing how industrial carbon dioxide emissions have led to the increased acidity of the world’s oceans and is in turn causing irreparable harm to marine ecosystems and the living creatures therein.
The report stresses that coral, shellfish and other sea creatures will have more trouble making it through the next century, as rising ocean acidity will inhibit their ability to develop the shells and exoskeletons key to their survival. Likewise, larger marine animals such as squid will be in jeopardy due to the increased difficulty of extracting oxygen from acidified ocean water. The report lists myriad other threats from this one side effect of global warming.
“Along with climate change, the rising acidity of our oceans is yet another reason for us to be concerned about the carbon dioxide we are pumping into the atmosphere,” said Professor John Raven, chair of the Royal Society’s ocean acidification working group. “World leaders … must commit to taking decisive and significant action to cut carbon dioxide emissions. Failure to do so may mean that there is no place in the oceans of the future for many of the species and ecosystems that we know today.”