Its time to act on ocean acidification or suffer the consequences

A statement signed by 70 of the world’s leading science academies stated “Ocean acidification is expected to cause massive corrosion of our coral reefs and dramatic changes in the makeup of the biodiversity of our oceans and will have significant implications for food production and the livelihoods of millions of people”.

The world’s top scientific academies on Monday called on the UN (which started a 12-day round of negotiations in Bonn under the banner of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) to include ‘ocean acidification’, which is a dangerous by-product of carbon pollution in their discussions.

The UNFCCC is tasked with steering 192 parties towards a deal in Copenhagen in December of this year which is aimed at setting down targets for curbing greenhouse-gas emissions by the middle of this century.

Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society said: “Everybody knows that the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to climate change. But it has another environmental effect, ocean acidification which hasn’t received much political attention. Unless global CO2 emissions can be cut by at least 50% by 2050 and more thereafter, we could confront an underwater catastrophe, with irreversible changes in the makeup of our marine biodiversity. The effects will be seen worldwide, threatening food security, reducing coastal protection and damaging the local economies that may be least able to tolerate it. Copenhagen must address this very real and serious threat.”

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