Ocean Acidification may be the most pressing issue facing the planet today.
While many have become aware of the thermal aspects of climate change that result from too much carbon dioxide (C02), few are aware of the results that this is having on the acidification of the oceans.
Every time we send more carbon dioxide ( CO2 ) into the atmosphere it is either taken up by terrestrial plants, remains in the atmosphere, or is absorbed by oceans.
All three places have one thing in common, they all contribute to disrupting the natural checks and balances of nature.
CO2 levels are now at a level that is no longer healthy for the oceans to maintain life as it has in the past. The increasing ocean acidification is threating coral reefs and other shell life in the oceans.
Research has shown that corals are stable at 350 parts per million of C02.
We have now surpassed a safe level and are at about 385 parts per million CO2 . If the levels increase to 450 or higher, the oceans may no longer be able to sustain coral reefs of which 1/3 of all species in the oceans are dependent for survival.
The full ecological consequences remain uncertain, though the most probable outcome is that certain marine species will be in trouble and face the possibility of extinction.
The ABC News story below gives a good introduction to this critical issue.