Co-author: “Unless we curb carbon emissions we risk mass extinctions, degrading coastal waters and encouraging outbreaks of toxic jellyfish and algae.”
A unique ‘natural laboratory’ in the Mediterranean Sea is revealing the effects of rising carbon dioxide levels on life in the oceans. The results show a bleak future for marine life as ocean acidity rises, and suggest that similar lowering of ocean pH levels may have been responsible for massive extinctions in the past.
That’s the opening (and headline) of a news release from the Geological Society of London. The new study is “Modern seawater acidification: the response of foraminifera to high-CO2 conditions in the Mediterranean Sea” (subs. reqd.) in the latest Journal of the Geological Society.
For background on ocean acidification, see Nature Geoscience: Oceans are acidifying 10 times faster today than 55 million years ago when a mass extinction of marine species occurred.
The study identified a tipping point at “mean pH 7.8″: