Monday, June 01, 2009

ACID SEAS ATTACKING SHELLFISH, CORALS

Reuters - Climate change is turning the oceans more acid in a trend that could endanger everything from clams to coral and be irreversible for thousands of years.

Seventy academies from around the world urged governments meeting in Bonn to take more account of risks to the oceans in a new UN treaty for fighting global warming due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December.

The academies said rising amounts of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas emitted mainly by human use of fossil fuels, were being absorbed by the oceans and making it harder for creatures to build protective body parts.

The shift disrupts ocean chemistry and attacks the "building blocks needed by many marine organisms, such as corals and shellfish, to produce their skeletons, shells and other hard structures", they said.