Tags: Global Warming | ocean acidification | affected industries

4 Industries Likely Affected By Global Warming-Caused Ocean Acidification

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 09:39 AM

Ocean acidification is one of the bigger problems created by increasing amounts of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, since oceans absorb a great deal of carbon dioxide. When C02 dissolves in seawater, a shift in the water's chemistry increases the acidity, or pH.

This affects many aspects of sea life, and may have a grave impact on the global economy if steps aren't taken.

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Here are four industries that are likely affected by global warming-cause ocean acidification:

1. Commercial fisheries: Ocean acidification is harmful to calcifying organisms which make up the foundation of the Arctic food webs, including brittle stars and pteropods, which are fed on by many organisms. Amid increasing acidification, pteropods shells dissolve and brittle stars lose muscle mass when re-generating limbs, according to Oceana.

2. Arctic tourism and economy:
The sport fishing and hunting industry provides a great deal of tourism to the Arctic region. Collapsing food webs, which provide food for the prized fish, threatens the industry, while less visitors leads to lower revenue, hurting businesses that depend on tourism.

3. Aquaculture: In 2008, oyster hatcheries in the northwestern United States were in danger of going bankrupt, threatening a $270 million industry that employed about 3,200 workers, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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Production levels for new-born oysters fell off by 80 percent. When research eliminated the bacterial pathogen Vibrio, ocean acidification was cited as the culprit.

In 2011, U.S. commercial fishers caught 10 billion pounds of seafood valued at $5.3 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Around the world, food production by aquaculture has increased twelvefold during the past 30 years, which represents nearly half of seafood consumption by humans. As the population continues to increase, so will dependence on marine protein, the IAEA said.

4. Affects ocean creatures: Acidic seawater prevents ocean creatures like corals and shellfish from developing their skeletons and shells properly, according to Scientific American.

In turn, decreasing shellfish populations damage the whole ocean food chain, specifically those who get their protein or earn a living from the sea.

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Ocean acidification is one of the bigger problems created by increasing amounts of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, since oceans absorb a great deal of carbon dioxide. When C02 dissolves in seawater, a shift in the water's chemistry increases the acidity, or pH.
ocean acidification, affected industries
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2015-39-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 09:39 AM
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