If you’ve been following this blog lately, you’re well aware of ocean acidification – the process by which increased CO2 in the atmosphere is making the oceans more acidic – and how it negatively affects shell-forming marine life, corals and other parts of the ecosystem.
We have been sponsoring Jason Hall-Spencer’s ocean acidification research for several years now. He recently appears on a number of programmes to talk about his work, including Australia’s RadioNational and the David Suzuki Foundation blog:
A 30 per cent decrease in the number of species is observed at levels of acidification expected to occur across oceans later this century. Both calcifying and non-calcifying organisms (such as urchins, snails and fish) are adversely affected by acidification, allowing invasive algae to thrive in their place. Transformation of diverse benthic ecosystems into monocultures of invasive algae and seagrass is observed at CO2 vents in Mexico, New Guinea and the Mediterranean, a strong indication of what we can expect to see in the future. Although many large fish species are present in the acidified areas, they have not been observed to deposit their eggs in the algae and eelgrass, opting instead to lay eggs among coralline algae at normal pH levels.
You can listen to RadioNational’s interview with Jason here (mp3 download).