Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Corals at Risk from Atmospheric Acidity

Growing Acidity of Oceans May Kill Corals

An article by Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post Staff Writer on Wednesday, July 5, 2006 discusses the escalating level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which making the world's oceans more acidic, government and independent scientists say.

A coalition of federal and university scientists is to issue a report today describing how carbon dioxide emissions are, in the words of a press release from the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "dramatically altering ocean chemistry and threatening corals and other marine organisms that secrete skeletal structures."

Scientists have conducted a few ocean acidification experiments in recent years. All have shown that adding carbon dioxide to the water slows corals' growth rate and can dissolve pteropods' shells.