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Ocean Acid Kills Marine Life: New Research



Corals, such as this Acroporid table, are at risk because of high global CO2 emissions. | Credit: Marco Milazzo

It is no secret that high CO2 emissions kill marine life – especially coral reefs and kelp forests. Ocean acidification and heat waves can severely damage marine ecosystems. A recent study by researchers from the University of Plymouth reports that the past three centuries of rapid industrial development have already left their mark on our oceans.

The study was recently published in Scientific Reports and warns that CO2 levels will be maintained. As they are currently, the extremely low pH of seawater will be catastrophic for many marine species. The research team based their predictions on the impact of recently discovered volcanic carbon dioxide seepage off the coast of Shikine Island, Japan.

The island is near the border of temperate and tropical climates and ocean currents. As a result, seawater naturally has a low CO2 content, similar to the CO2 content in seawater before the Industrial Revolution, but volcanic infiltration also provides a good insight into how CO2 emissions will affect marine ecosystems

Dr. Sylvain Agostini, lead author of the study and Associate Professor at Tsimuba University's Shimoda Marine Research Center, said, "These CO2 spills are an important window into the future, with massive coral mortality in southern Japan last year, but many people are hanging Hoping that corals can spread north, it is therefore extremely worrying to find that tropical corals are so susceptible to ocean acidification as it prevents them from spreading further north and escaping the damage of too hot water. "[19659003] For the study Several teams of divers conducted underwater surveys to study the CO2 gradients caused by volcanic springs and studied how the marine flora and fauna responded to the acidification of seawater. The results showed that the few plant species performed well under the acidified conditions, but most other species, especially the corals, died at high speed.

"Our research location is like a time machine: In areas with pre-industrial CO2 content, the coast has an impressive amount of calcified organisms such as corals and oysters, but in areas with mean seawater CO2 presently, we found far fewer corals and oysters other calcified habitats, so there was less biodiversity, showing the huge damage people have caused by CO2 emissions over the past 300 years, and if we can not get a grip on CO2 emissions, we will undoubtedly be in a strong deterioration Experience the coastal systems worldwide, "added Jason Hall-Spencer, Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Plymouth


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