The ocean becomes more acidic as a result of more carbon dioxide building up
Coral reefs develop ‘osteoporosis’ as a result of the ocean becoming more acidic due to carbon dioxide emissions, scientists have found.
As carbon dioxide builds up in concentration in the ocean, it becomes more acidic, and this is impeding the growth of coral, a new study in Geophysical Research Letters has revealed.
Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found significant reduction in the density of coral skeleton along much of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, and also on two reefs in the South China Sea, which they attribute largely to the increasing acidity of the waters surrounding these reefs since 1950.
“This is the first unambiguous detection and attribution of ocean acidification’s impact on coral growth,” said ead author and WHOI scientist Weifu Guo.
“Our study presents strong evidence that 20th century ocean acidification, exacerbated by reef biogeochemical processes, had measurable effects on the growth of a keystone reef-building coral species across the Great Barrier Reef and in the South China…
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