"Is Regulation on Ocean Acidification on the Horizon?"

"With mounting evidence that ocean waters worldwide are turning more acidic, scientists have issued ever more urgent pleas for policy makers to recognize that this phenomenon is a direct and real consequence of rising levels of atmospheric CO2. Researchers warn that as ocean pH falls, the capacities of calcifying marine organisms to build shells and skeletons will be severely reduced, in all likelihood causing widespread impacts on marine ecosystems. In June 2009, a statement endorsed by 70 national science academies emphasized that the issue must be on the agenda at the upcoming global climate talks in Copenhagen. 'To avoid substantial damage to ocean ecosystems, deep and rapid reductions of global CO2 emissions by at least 50% by 2050, and much more thereafter, are needed,' the statement warned.

On the U.S. domestic policy front, the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act was signed into law in March 2009 to fortify funding for research on ocean acidification, which is dubbed 'global warming’s evil twin'. Otherwise, the issue has garnered little attention from the government. However, that may be about to change."

Noreen Parks reports for Environmental Science & Technology June 24, 2009.

Friday, July 3, 2009