Climate 411

Part 1 of 5: More Acidic Oceans

The second installment of the IPCC’s 4th Assessment on Climate Change, titled “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”, will be released on April 6, 2007. In recognition of this report, I’m doing a weekly series called “Climate Dangers You May Not Know About“.

1. More Acidic Oceans
2. Drinking Water and Disease
3. Shifts in Lifecycle Timing
4. Drought and Violence
5. Melting of the North Pole

Everyone knows that carbon dioxide (CO2) warms the globe. But many people don’t know about its other dangerous effect. The build-up of CO2 is undermining ocean life through “ocean acidification”. I’ll start by explaining why our oceans are becoming more acidic, and then illustrate why this is so dangerous to ocean life and our entire food chain.

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Coral Reef Haiku

Coral reef brilliance
Bleached white by loss of algae,
Killed by warming sea.

Left: Healthy corals (iStockphoto). Right: bleached corals (Ray Berkelsman, CRCReef, Townsville).

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