Acidity of oceans threatens sea life
Published 15/02/2010 | 05:00
THE world's oceans are becoming acidic at a faster rate than at any time in the past 65 million years, threatening marine life and food supplies, according to a study by British scientists.
Researchers from the University of Bristol found that when ocean acidification accelerated, it caused extinction at the bottom of the food chain.
The acidification was being caused by the amount of carbon dioxide coming from cars and factories, which was absorbed by the water, they said.
Since the industrial revolution, acidity in the seas has increased by 30pc. The last time such a fast change occurred was thought to be 65 million years ago, when a natural event caused ocean acidification.
Andy Ridgwell, the lead author of the paper published in 'Nature Geoscience', said acidification was occurring much faster today than in the past, "exceeding the rate at which plankton can adapt" and threatening the basis of much marine life. This would mean fish and other creatures may be affected as soon as the end of this century, he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)