Personal Liberty Digest™ will be upgraded this weekend to reflect a dynamic new look and mobile-friendly viewing to enhance your experience! Plus, we'll be providing even more of the compelling content you've come to expect, delivered in a whole new way!

  Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

Study: Human activity affecting oceans

March 1, 2012 by  

NEW YORK, March 1 (UPI) — Earth’s oceans may be turning acidic faster from human carbon emissions than during four major extinctions in the last 300 million years, U.S. researchers say.

A study by scientists at Columbia University is the first to survey the geologic record for evidence of ocean acidification and life extinctions over such a vast time period, a Columbia release reported Thursday.

It compared human-caused emissions to natural pulses of carbon that have sent global temperatures soaring in Earth’s past.

“What we’re doing today really stands out,” Barbel Honisch, a paleoceanographer at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said.

“We know that life during past ocean acidification events was not wiped out — new species evolved to replace those that died off. But if industrial carbon emissions continue at the current pace, we may lose organisms we care about — coral reefs, oysters, salmon.”

Oceans absorb excess carbon dioxide from the air that reacts with seawater to form carbonic acid, but if CO2 goes into the oceans too quickly, it can deplete carbonate ions that corals, mollusks and some plankton need for reef and shell-building, the researchers said.

It may take decades before ocean acidification’s effect on marine life shows itself, but the study highlights the extreme effect human activity has had on marine chemistry, experts said.

“These studies give you a sense of the timing involved in past ocean acidification events — they did not happen quickly,” Richard Feely, an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who was not involved in the study, said.

“The decisions we make over the next few decades could have significant implications on a geologic timescale.”

Spencer Cameron

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Study: Human activity affecting oceans”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.