Authors: John Beddington and Jane Lubchenco
Source: The New York Times 
June 18, 2012
"In Rio de Janeiro this week, environmental leaders from many nations are addressing one of our planet’s most serious yet still vastly under-recognized challenges: ocean acidification.
Ocean acidification, a process in which seawater chemistry changes when the ocean absorbs rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, is profoundly affecting global waters and their ecologically and economically vital marine life. It is literally causing a sea change and threatening the fundamental chemical balance of ocean and coastal waters from pole to pole.
Because the consequences can be destructive to so many species, acidification is dubbed the “osteoporosis of the sea.” To build essential skeletons and shells, many marine plants and animals require calcium carbonate, an important mineral in seawater. But ocean acidification, if it continues unabated, could eventually inhibit the ability of oysters, clams, corals and other marine life to make hard protective shells and skeletons. In polar and other waters, the corrosive effect may also dissolve shells and skeletons already built."
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