Saturday, March 17, 2007

Carbon dioxide levels threaten oceans regardless of global warming

Regardless to the truth of the idea of human-caused climate change, carbon dioxide growth in the oceans is still a problem. This is from a study published in the March 9, 2007, issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters authored by Ken Caldeira from the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University and Long Cao and Atul Jain of the University of Illinois. Increasing absorption of carbon dioxide is acidifying global oceans, because carbon dioxide absorbed into water becomes carbonic acid. This is putting sea life at risk because carbonic acid is a corrosive agent, which can eat away shells of important species in the global food chain. This would disrupt the food chain of the creatures we hunt in the oceans for our seafood supplies.

Scientists estimate that the oceans have soaked up about half of all carbon dioxide produced from fossil fuel emissions over the past 200 years. Had oceans not absorbed this carbon, current atmospheric carbon dioxide would be much higher than the current 381 parts-per-million (ppm)--probably closer to 500-600 ppm say climatologists.

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