This week in the New York Times, Mark Bittman wrote an interesting piece on how bad carbon dioxide emissions are effecting our oceans. The CO2 discharge is more tolling than any historical oil spill, even including the devastating BP drilling rig explosion that occurred in the Gulf last year. The five million barrels of oil that was spilled recently will eventually be “disarmed”, whereas the CO2 emissions that continue will greatly affect ocean life well into future centuries. Increased levels of CO2 in the Carbon Cycle is making oceans more acidic since they absorb about 30% of the CO2 in the atmosphere. This devastation that’s occurring makes sense since we’ve added about 500 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide to the oceans since the Industrial Revolution. All of this excess carbon dioxide in these waters leads to oceanic acidification, which dissolves coral reefs; the environmental supporter for 25% of all marine life. On top of that, it makes it fatally more difficult for calicifying organisms to make proper shells.
Sources: Bittman, Mark. “Opinionator: What’s Worse Than an Oil Spill?” New York Times 20 Apr. 2011: A23. Print.
Hyndman, Donald W., and David W. Hyndman. “Climate Change and Weather Related to Hazards.” Natural Hazards and Disasters. Belmont: Brooks/Cole, 2011. 286-91. Print.