Author: Eric Scigliano
Source: OnEarth Blog 
September 30, 2012
"I’m in foggy Monterey, California, this week for a big once-every-four-years gathering of scientists who study how the carbon dioxide we’re belching into the air is also altering our oceans. And, man, is there a lot of bad news: shrinking coral reefs, increasingly toxic algal blooms, threatened seafood sources … the list goes on. All of these are due to a phenomenon known as ocean acidification (basically, as we pump more pollution into the atmosphere, more carbon dioxide gets absorbed into the oceans, making them increasingly acidic and less healthy for many forms of life - see my story on the Pacific Northwest’s “Great Oyster Crash,” for just one example). One presentation after another is filled with reports and indices showing our seas are in trouble.
So before I get to all that, let’s take some time to consider some more hopeful numbers.
It’s been just nine years since Stanford earth scientist Ken Caldeira coined the term “ocean acidification” when writing in the prestigious journal Nature about changing ocean pH. The following year, 125 marine scientists gathered in a single room in Paris to trade notes about this emerging problem. Ocean acidification hadn’t even been their original concern: the meeting had been convened to explore several then-fashionable proposals for sequestering more greenhouse gas in the ocean, as a way of slowing down global warming. But at a 2003 planning session, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s Peter Brewer urged broadening the agenda to consider the impacts of the CO2 that was already diffusing into the seas from the air."
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