Remember acid rain? In the 1970s, observations of dying lakes and great swaths of browning northern forest successfully spurred action to clean up emissions from power plants that were primarily responsible. Now CO2 from human fossil fuel combustion is dissolving into the ocean on a global scale, making them more acidic. A new paper synthesizes current and projected increases in global ocean acidity with this map:
Ocean acidification will likely have profound — though complex and still unpredictable — impacts on marine ecosystems, especially calcareous shell-bearing animals such as oysters and the fisheries based on them.
Will we have the will to respond this time?
Original source: Denman K et al. 2011. Potential impacts of future ocean acidification on marine ecosystems and fisheries: current knowledge and recommendations for future research. ICES Journal of Marine Science 68:1019-1029. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsr074