Carbon Dioxide Turns Oceans Acidic
Sea creatures are literally being eaten away and ‘dissolved’ by pollution, scientists have discovered.
It’s feared that high levels of carbon dioxide in the water could cause irreparable damage to marine ecosystems after tests found acute levels of the gas cause starfish to dissolve.
A team of marine scientists conducted a four-day experiment at Loch Sween on Scotland’s west coast to measure the response to short-term carbon dioxide exposure.
Previously, tests had focused on the effect high levels of the gas had on individual plants or animals, leaving a gap in knowledge about how whole marine ecosystems respond to sudden influxes of carbon dioxide.
When high levels of carbon dioxide enters the oceans it causes them to become more acidic.
The experiment revealed acute exposure led to net dissolution, meaning calcified organisms such as the coralline algae and starfish were dissolving.