Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Study on Acid effect on Coral Reefs

The world’s coral reefs face almost certain death as increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are absorbed by the oceans, acidifying the water in which corals live, a new study warns.

As carbon dioxide is emitted through the burning of fossil fuels, some of it is absorbed by the world’s oceans. When the carbon dioxide is absorbed in the water, it produces carbonic acid, the same acid that gives soft drinks their fizz. This acid also makes certain minerals dissolve more readily in seawater, particularly aragonite, the mineral used by corals and many other marine organisms to grow their skeletons.

At greatest risk of these changes are Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest living structure, and the reefs of the Caribbean Sea.

To slow ocean acidification, scientists warn, that it  will likely take more stringent and immediate reductions in carbon dioxide than would be needed to reduce the other effects of global warming. 

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