Everybody’s heard of climate change; its potential effect on the diversity of our ecosystems, stability of our weather systems and our ability to feed ourselves in the future. But did you know that another effect of rising greenhouse gases in our atmosphere is the acidification of our oceans?
A new article from the Seattle Times does a very thorough job of explaining ocean acidification and outlining many possible detrimental effects it may have on our world. Decreased coral growth, increased extinction rates, effects on the senses of fishes, and dissolving marine invertebrate shells are all possible outcomes of an increasingly acidic ocean.
The danger of this phenomenon is that we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but the glimpses we are getting suggest that many lower trophic levels will be negatively impacted (corals, pteropods, zooplankton, etc…), which will have an effect on our fisheries species as well as the overall ecosystem.
Despite these dire consequences, ocean acidification has lived in the shadows of its larger cause, climate change. However ocean acidification has the potential to have tremendously catastrophic economic and ecological effects. This article does a fantastic job explaining ocean acidification (with a neat little video) and outlining all its consequences.