WIRED: One of the consequences of pumping more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is the changing chemistry of the world’s oceans. Until now, the ocean has acted as a big sponge, soaking up about one-third of the CO2released by human activities.
But now, scientists are watching a vast experiment unfold. All that carbon dioxide is triggering chemical reactions that is turning the oceans more acidic, which in turn is making life tough for lots of marine organisms. Oysters and other shellfish have been hit by die-offs in the Pacific Northwest and Gulf of Maine, while tropical reefs are dissolving faster than they can rebuild, according to a recent study in the journal Science.