Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are rising as a result of human activities, such as fossil fuel burning, and are increasing the acidity of seawater. This process is known as ocean acidification. Historically, the ocean has absorbed approximately 30% of all CO2 released into the atmosphere by humans since the start of the industrial revolution, resulting in a 26% increase in the acidity of the ocean (average global decrease in ocean pH of about 0.1 unit).
Ocean acidification makes it more difficult for the numerous organisms that fix calcium carbonate in their skeletons and shells to do so, and can also impact metabolic and reproductive processes in many marine species. By impacting marine ecosystems at multiple levels, it has significant potential to affect food security and livelihoods that depend upon healthy marine ecosystems. The economic impact of ocean acidification could be substantial.
Reducing CO2 emissions is the only way to minimize long-term, large-scale risks from ocean acidification (IGBP, IOC, SCOR, 2013, p. 1).
11 Dec 2018 - In his keynote address, Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, said the second UN Ocean Conference in 2020 should focus on action and funding needed to address risks to the ocean as they relate to climate change.
24 Aug 2017 - The Caribbean is heavily dependent on tourism and other marine services, industries that the Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPPC) last report indicate are expected to be heavily impacted by climate change.
23 Aug 2017 - Portugal is next month to sign cooperation agreements with other Portuguese-language countries and with Mediterranean and North Atlantic countries on the oceans, covering applied research programmes, ocean clean-up and sustainable fishing, the minister for the sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, announced on Tuesday.
18 Aug 2017 - The President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, will ring the Opening Bell of the Nasdaq Stock Market at its MarketSite Headquarters in Times Square, New York, on Monday, 21 August 2017 at 9:30 am EDT, to raise awareness on the urgency of measures required to improve the health of the Ocean.
14 Aug 2017 - The coral bleaching event that devastated reefs worldwide during the past three years is over for now, but as ocean temperatures continue to rise, bleaching is likely to continue on a regional level.