Monday, September 21, 2009

It's not (just) the heat, it's the acidity

Just what does it take to wake people up? If only Osama Bin-Ladin was dumping acid into the oceans to acidify them and destroy the base of the food chain and starve billions of people and destroy countless species.

From the always-excellent Desdemona Despair blog:

Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the air, the result of burning fossil fuels like oil and coal, mean more carbon dioxide is being absorbed into the ocean, making ocean water more acidic. Because calcium dissolves in acidic water, that poses a threat to corals, plankton and other life forms that use calcium to form a shell or skeleton.

In a book published this year about the oceans, Mitchell tells the story of Colorado-based marine ecologist Joanie Kleypas, who, when she realized the implications of ocean acidification, ran to the bathroom at the scientific conference she was attending and threw up.

"We are changing the chemistry of the global ocean," Mitchell said in an interview.

"Without all those creatures in the ocean living and doing what they're meant to do, we can't survive." …

Photo above is the PGE's Boardman Generating Plant, one of Oregon's two biggest emitters of CO2, mercury, nitrous and sulfur dioxides, along with radioactive materials and other heavy metals. When the oceans acidify, the glaciers are gone, and droughts and floods are starving people across the globe, Oregonians can always take comfort in knowing that we always put PGE's profits before public health or providing future generations with a livable planet.
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