The Intersection

Ocean acidification illustrated by David Fierstein (c) 2007 MBARI

Ocean acidification is intimately connected to our changing climate and as important as global warming. We’re just not hearing about it in the news enough because the media has all but ignored the problem. So we must make the case that more scientists ought to be to be exploring the threat, educating the public as to why it matters, and implementing effective policy to mitigate the impact of excess CO2 in our oceans (and everywhere else).

My full post reviewing ocean acidification is now up over at Correlations.


  1. #1 Sarah
    May 28, 2008

    “the media has all but ignored the problem”

    As a member of the media, I must beg to differ! The issue is all over the place — as a google news search for “acidification” reveals. My question is: Are we getting it right? Is there an angle or element of the story you think the media is missing or misrepresenting?

  2. #2 Sheril R. Kirshenbaum
    May 28, 2008


    Yes acidification is finally getting more coverage than in past years, but the level of attention is not in the same league as global warming. It should be. Environmental outreach and research funding has been concentrated on climate with oceans as an afterthought.

  3. #3 Mark Powell
    May 28, 2008

    Do you really think we can motivate people with a 6 syllable word like a-ci-di-fi-ca-tion?

    I think we need a simpler name for the problem.

  4. #4 J.
    May 29, 2008

    Do you really think we can motivate people with a 6 syllable word like a-ci-di-fi-ca-tion? I think we need a simpler name for the problem.

    …What?! That’s pretty damned depressing. Is “Ocean death” dumbed down enough? “Ocean Holocaust” dumbed down and provocative enough? Bah.

    “Ocean pH pollution” ?
    “The Ocean souring”?
    “Acid squeezy death”?
    “The acid poisoning of our oceans”?
    “Man-induced Seafood Holocaust”?
    “You’re not fucking up just the land part of this planet, dear reader. Neener neener neener”?

    I apologize for being too bitter.

  5. #5 wazza
    May 29, 2008

    Plankton Melting?

    A lot of the articles I’ve seen recently have referenced it, at least, and I’ve seen some in local papers (in NZ…) specifically about this problem. I think it’s becoming more widely known, but there’s nothing much we can do about it but what’s already been done to combat global warming and algal blooms – make efforts to cut down on CO2 release and nitrogen offrun.

  6. #6 Ian
    May 29, 2008

    “I think we need a simpler name for the problem”

    We need something catchy, like “The Chronic Carbonic”!

  7. #7 BAllanJ
    May 29, 2008

    I was talking to someone once who had quite an input in making sure acid rain wasn’t called acidified precipitation. Same goes here….I’d vote for “acid seas” myself

  8. #8 Emily
    May 29, 2008

    BAllenJ – the difference is that acid rain IS acidic. Ocean acidification has not (yet) resulted in the oceans actually becoming acid, just dropping in pH (but still in the basic end of the scale).

    Maybe we could call it Super-coral-fragile-istic-ocean-acidosis…

  9. #9 J.
    May 29, 2008

    “acid poisoning (of the oceans/seas/etc)” is growing on me. Either that or it’s the fugu liver I fictionally had for lunch.

  10. #10 Coturnix
    May 29, 2008

    sour seas?

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