Surfers are going to need some thicker wetsuits.
Scientists at USC today are warning that global warming could result in … acidic seas. That's right: Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere could taint our beloved Pacific ocean with “acidification” and turn it into a giant can of soda. Really.
And, along with being bad for the skin, such a phenomenon would …
… be really bad for the local sushi supply. We're not kidding. Rowan Martindale, an earth sciences doctoral candidate at the school says this acidification could “cause the collapse of the fisheries.”
In a statement, USC adds:
Carbon dioxide and water bind together to create carbonic acid, which is used to make soft drinks bubbly – but also makes water more acidic.
Looking at the geologic record going back 300 million years, USC academics and those at 17 other institutions around the world came up with some Debbie Downer conclusions about global warming.
Our seas are becoming acidic at a rate 10 times faster than at any other point on record, the nerds say.
Acidic oceans, according to a USC statement, will …
… imperil key parts of the marine food chain – it has happened before, and can happen again, scientists warn. In fact, ocean acidification appears to be happening today at an unprecedentedly fast rate.
(Covers ears. La la la LA LA LA! Somewhere right now Ed Begley Jr. is weeping).
Barbel Honisch, a paleoceanographer at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory:
We know that life during past ocean acidification events was not wiped out–new species evolved to replace those that died off. But if industrial carbon emissions continue at the current pace, we may lose organisms we care about–coral reefs, oysters, salmon.
Bummer. We like sushi.