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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Marine Scientists report: Ocean Acidification Accelerating; Severe Damages Imminent

Marine Scientists who met in Monaco in October 2008 have released a strong statement on January 30 about ocean acidification accelerating due to increasing carbon emissions caused by human induced climate change. The Declaration calls on Governments to take urgent action to reduce carbon emissions.

Over 150 marine scientists from 26 countries signed the Monaco declaration (Download PDF) warning that "Ocean acidification could affect marine food webs and lead to substantial changes in commercial fish stocks, threatening protein supply and food security for millions of people as well as the multi-billion dollar fishing industry."

“The chemistry is so fundamental and changes so rapid and severe that impacts on organisms appear unavoidable.” said James Orr of the Marine Environment Laboratories (MEL-IAEA) and chairman of the symposium. “The questions are now how bad will it be and how soon will it happen."

The Declaration urges Governments to "prevent severe damages from ocean acidification by developing ambitious, urgent plans to cut emissions drastically", as well as for Governments to improve communications with scientists between scientists and economists. The Declaration urges promotion of further research in this field.

"The Ocean in a High-CO2 World" symposium held in Monaco is a forum held once every 4 years providing marine scientists an opportunity for a comprehensive and authoritative assessment of ocean acidification and its impact.

Prince Albert II of Monaco has urged political leaders to heed the Monaco Declaration as they prepare for climate negotiations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen later this year.

While the deadly loss of life in the 2009 Bush fires in Victoria is generating calls for the Australian Government to increase carbon emission reduction, the loss of pteropods in the Southern Ocean will riple through the marine food chain and have a devastating effect on marine biodiversity and marine food production.

Related Articles
* Monaco Declaration (PDF)
* John Sumby - 2006 - Antarctica does Acid - global warming, ocean acidification, and the Southern Ocean
* Takver - Wednesday Oct 17th, 2007 - Scientists say Ocean Acidity Increasing at Faster Rate
* Takver - Wednesday Oct 24th, 2007 - Climate Change: Marine Scientists Demand Immediate Action on Greenhouse Gas Emissions
* Takver - Friday Jan 2nd, 2009 - Coral Reefs and Ocean Biodiversity threatened by Climate Change

* Ocean Acidification Network