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View Diary: Response of marine organisms to ocean acidification (50 comments)

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  •  For those not familiar with this threat to global (5+ / 0-)

    climate change. IMNSHO (In my not so humble opinion) this is the single biggest threat to global climate change. The chemical reactions that causes this is:

    CO2 + H2O --> H2CO3
    H2CO3 + H2O <- -> H3O+ + HCO3-

    H3O+ is also familiar to chemists as the form that acid takes when mixed with water.

    When I first outlined this threat to global ecosystems to my Engineer brother, he concocted a scheme where CaCO3 deposits off the east coast of the US could be mined in huge quantities, heated to produce lime (a strong base, the opposite of an acid in chemical terms) and dumped into the sea.

    ......I looked at him like he was a toddler trying to fix the problem of some spilled milk by rolling on the floor in his onesie thinking no one would be the wiser.

    This is the problem that convinced me that we need to find a way to scrub CO2 from the atmosphere before it can get absorbed by the oceans.

    This is IMNSHO the greatest threat that exists to the globe from human created CO2.

    This paper provides evidence that the first major effects of increased CO2 reflect that changes in sea surface temperature is the major driver of immediate change for plancton and the like in our oceans, which makes quite a bit of sense.

    However, the surface of our seas is just the first point where atmospheric CO2 influences the oceans. This study shows that the primary effects get amplified in surface waters based on temperature changes. It will take us a while to heat the oceans, but when and if we do, there will come the 6th ever recorded mass extinction of life on earth as recorded in the geological record.

    Hopefully we can avert this disaster.

    I am certain we'll be covering this topic in our podcast "SciTech with Yuri and Rick" on Netroots Radio at some point soon. Perhaps MarineChemist might like to be a guest on that show.

    Listen to Netroots Radio or to our pods on Stitcher. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 04:02:40 AM PST

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