Publication Source: Sooke News Mirror
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Author: Andrew Weaver
A recent letter dismissed scientific concern over increasing ocean acidity as a consequence of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. I am writing to correct the scientific errors in this letter.
When dissolved in water, carbon dioxide produces carbonic acid. The ocean is the single biggest natural sink for the excess carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere. The observed oceanic pH (a measure of acidity) reduction since preindustrial times is well understood to be overwhelmingly due to carbon dioxide (not mercury and sulphates as claimed by the writer).
Increasing ocean acidity and its potential effect on resident ecosystems is an extremely serious, indirect consequence of our increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions. To dismiss so flippantly Elizabeth May, who takes the science seriously, does a disservice to the public discourse on what, if anything, society should do to mitigate against global warming and ultimately the collapse of existing ecosystems.