News & AnalysisClimate Change

Researchers Struggle to Assess Responses to Ocean Acidification

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Science  05 Oct 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6103, pp. 27-28
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6103.27

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Unlike many areas of global change, there's no argument that rising CO2 emissions will make the world's oceans more acidic. Average pH in surface waters is now 8.1—a 30% increase in acidity since the start of the industrial revolution—and forecasters say it could drop to 7.8 by 2100 if carbon emissions continue unabated. But how fisheries and other marine life will respond is far from clear. Building a better crystal ball to gauge such effects emerged as a central challenge facing scientists attending the Third International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World last week.