|What do we do? - Outreach|
Messages for Rio+20
There is little doubt that the ocean is undergoing dramatic changes that will impact many human lives now and ever more so in the coming generations, unless we act quickly and decisively. Previous acidification events in the Earth’s geological record were often associated with extinctions of many species. Whilst the causes of such extinction episodes are complex, it is notable that the biodiversity recovery took hundreds of thousands and, after mass extinctions, millions of years.
This briefing paper from the International Ocean Acidification Reference User Group provides essential information and highlights the actions needed on ocean acidification by Governments at Rio+20
It is amazing to think that just ten years ago hardly anyone had heard of ocean acidification. It is now much more widely understood that the increasing amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) we are emitting into the air by our activities is reacting with the ocean to alter its chemistry and push it along the scale towards acidity. One major effect is reducing the availability of carbonate ions needed by many marine animals and plants to build their shells and skeletons.
Translation in Portuguese: PDF