In a small patch of the Southern Ocean, the shells of sea snails are dissolving. The finding is the first evidence that marine life is already suffering as a result of man-made ocean acidification.
"This is actually happening now," says Geraint Tarling of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. He and colleagues captured free-swimming sea snails called pteropods from the Southern Ocean in early 2008 and found under an electron microscope that the outer layers of their hard shells bore signs of unusual corrosion.
As well as warming the planet, the carbon dioxide we emit is changing the chemistry of the ocean. CO2 dissolves in water to form carbonic acid, making the water less alkaline. The pH is currently dropping at about 0.1 per century,faster than any time in the last 300 million years.I get pissed.
Our stupid inability to figure out how to reduce carbon emissions is melting living things. You don't have to believe in karma to know that kind of stupid is going to double back around on us. We are facing rising oceans that will have less life in them. Those little mollusks are food for bigger fish, and they won't last, either. And what we're doing to this planet is going to hurt our food chain, too.
The evidence that we're doing something wrong is all around us. The time to act is now.