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oceans day

December 7, 2010

scientists aren’t as scary as I thought

On Saturday WenYun and I attended Oceans Day. Its independant of the UNFCCC and you don’t require any pass of money to get in. Totally amazing right?

Here’s when it gets better. The scientists presenting don’t expect you to be scientists eitehr. they’ve made everything perfectly understandable and relevant to even people like me who went late during the middle of the talk after running from the wrong venue.

The concept of ocean acidification is explained so simply. Basically, the CO2 in the air reacts with the water in the sea to produce carbonic acid. This stuff is pretty mild to us and we won’t feel the difference. But the little crabs and shell-bearing creatures(calcifers) in the ocean do. The acid reacts with the carbonate in the water and this means taht there less carbonate for the crabs and their pteropod friends to make shells and their shells can more and more fragile and harder to make. this means that they don’t survive too well.

Essentially, to the foodies out there(don’t worry, if I didn’t have an allery I’d be one of you),, it means lesser quantities and qualties of seafood. However, because these critters are near the very bottom of the food chain, everything above gets lesser food…and you get the picture.

We can’t suck the Co2 currently in the ocean right now, but these amazing oceans have buffer properties and this problem could clear itself up after….let’s say….a hundred years.

So, even if we stopped polluting completely, we’d still need to wait for the next generation to see the oceans that we once saw. But the scientists are optimistic about new technologies that could help us. And they’re optimistic about us keeping the acidification from getting worse voluntarily as well.

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