Ocean acidification worst in the Caribbean

The largest increase in ocean acidification compared to pre-industrial variation is found in the Caribbean, according to regional modelling of tropical oceans. Calcification rates are estimated to have dropped by about 15 per cent over the past century, which is more than 70 times the amplitude of variation occurring during the years 900–1750.  The western Pacific Ocean was also an area where the change in calcification rates has been significant.

Ocean acidification is caused when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolves in the oceans and forms carbonic acid. Increased acidification is just one of several stress factors that marine organisms are exposed to. Key groups such as corals are also suffering from surface warming and coastal pollution.

Source: Nature and Climate Change, 22 January 2012

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