“Ocean acidification is probably the most important issue on the planet today,” says Revolution director Rob Stewart and it is also the largest environmental issue threatening the world.
The oceans are what regulate our climate, our atmospheric chemistry and the levels of carbon in the air. More than 50% of our oxygen we breathe is produced by the ocean, by plants known as phytoplankton.
Ocean acidification is the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth’s oceans, caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. An estimated 30–40% of the carbon dioxide released by humans into the atmosphere dissolves into oceans, rivers and lakes. Since the Industrial Revolution, massive quantities of carbon dioxide pollution and carbonic acid have been released into the atmosphere and are being absorbed by oceans. This in turn dissolves the shells of marine organisms, having the most harmful effect on the coral reefs, which are vital for other species survival as they are used for spawning, homes for their offspring and feeding. With the coral reefs dying this could lead to a massive extinction across the entire ocean life.
Change needs to begin now before it is too late. We need to reduce our carbon footprint and pressure our government to create strict emissions laws. Some food for thought next time you fill up your car. Maybe try riding to work, or at least sharing your vehicle with others… Make shopping lists and do one big shop a week instead of driving to the store for milk. The end goal would be to stop the burning of fossil fuels all together but until then conscious decisions need to be made by everyone who cares about our ocean, and the future of the world.