A recent study of a unique natural laboratory created by scientists in the Mediterranean Sea has shown that the number of single-celled organisms called Foraminifera found around volcanic carbon dioxide vents near Naples, Italy, has diminished from 24 species to only four.
Scientists from the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom and the University of Santa Catarina in Brazil discovered that similar losses in many forms of marine life, especially organisms with calcium carbonate shells like Foraminifera, are linked to rising ocean acidity, which has occurred from the excessive absorption of carbon dioxide and has the effect of lowering the water’s pH levels.
Suggesting that over-acidification has been responsible for wide-scale extinctions in the past, study co-author Dr. Jason Hall-Spencer stated, “A tipping point occurs at … pH 7.8. This is the pH level predicted for the end of this century… The big concern for me is that unless we curb carbon emissions, we risk mass extinctions, degrading coastal waters and encouraging outbreaks of toxic jellyfish and algae."
Many thanks Dr. Hall-Spencer and other British and Brazilian colleagues, for reminding of our dire need to minimize greenhouse gas emissions to preserve our life-supporting oceans.
With Heaven's grace, may we accelerate effective planet-saving actions in all corners of the world. During a May 2009 videoconference in Togo, Supreme Master Ching Hai pointed out the imbalances already occurring in our marine environments, suggesting at the same time how to reverse these dangerous effects.