Tuesday, August 26, 2008



Rising acidification of the world's oceans - caused by imploding
climate change - will significantly reduce the successful
fertilization of many species this century, according to a report by
Swedish and Australian scientists.

Species facing extinction due to high sea acidity include colonies of
sea urchins, lobsters, mussels and oysters, the study stated.

The study revealed that rising acidity was hindering marine sperm from
swimming to and fertilizing eggs in the ocean.

According to projected rates of acidity by the year 2100 there will be
a 25 percent reduction in fertilization.

Jane Williamson from Macquarie University explained to Daily Planet
Media that the surface of the ocean absorbs up to 30 percent of the
world's yearly emissions of carbon dioxide - the reason behind the
rising acidity of oceans.

Higher than normal acidity levels of 7.7 were already occurring parts
of the ocean off the west coast of the United States.

Meanwhile the "dead zones" in regions of the ocean floor that are
deprived of oxygen were spreading fast, leading scientists wrote in a
study report for the journal Science.

The cause of acute oceanic oxygen depreciation is the nitrogen and
phosphorous from chemical agricultural fertilizers that reach coastal
waters after flowing off farm fields and into streams and rivers.

Nitrogen compounds from burning fossils fuels, particularly from power
plants and cars, are washing into coastal waters, the study report

Already this decade the number of coastal dead zones had risen by
about a third to 405 worldwide. Dead zone clusters on the coasts of
the United States and Europe had taken up a combined area of least
95,000 square miles.

Dead zones began doubling every 10 years in the 1960s and there are
now large areas of sea floor with insufficient oxygen to support most
marine life.

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