A National Research council study out on Thursday indicated that oceans have become 30% more acidic over the last 200 years. The report was requested by Congress.
The report warns, “Ocean acidification is a growing global problem that will intensify with continued CO2 emissions and has the potential to change marine ecosystems and affect benefits to society.”
In testimony before a Senate Subcommitte, James Barry of the MOnteray Bay Aquarium Research Institute comments, “Acidification is changing the chamistry of the oceans at a scale and magnitude greater than thought to occur on Earch for many millions of years and is expected to cause changes in the growth and survival of a wide variety of marine organisms, potentially leading to massive shifts in ocean ecosytems.”
The report also notes, “Despite the potential for socioeconomic impacts to occur in coral reef systems, aquaculture, fisheries, and other sectors, there is not currently enough information to assess these impacts, much less develop plans to mitigate or adapt to them.” In response, the US government has voted to fund research in this area and is developing the National Ocean Acidification Program.