£11m Ocean Acidification Study Announced

The Natural Environment Research Council and Defra will jointly fund an £11m study to examine the effect of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems, it has been announced. The focus of the study will be the Atlantic, Antarctic and Arctic oceans. The likely impacts of ocean acidification; resulting in loss of coral reefs due to the breakdown of the shells of calciferous organisms such as coral polyps, on humans and the economy will also be studied.

Ocean acidification has increased by 30% since the industrial revolution, resulting in a pH decrease of 0.1 units since pre-industrial times. The Independent Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that pH will fall further, by between 0.14 – 0.35 units, over the course of the 21st Century.

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