Carbon Dioxide is Killing Coral: How Rising Ocean Acidification Damages Marine Ecosystems

by J.P. Rose
Jul 12, 2011 2:30 PM ET

Ocean acidification from high carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere threatens coral reef habitats, and the hundreds of marine species that rely on them. How this works at


While most Americans have heard of climate change and choose to either accept or reject the scientific consensus that it is occurring, pollution from carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases contributing to climate change, also contributes to a lesser known but similarly serious problem. That problem is ocean acidification, and it threatens not only the vibrant beauty and biodiversity of Earth’s coral reefs, but also the livelihoods of millions of people. A new report by an international panel of scientists warns the health of the oceans—and particularly of corals—is slipping faster than even pessimists had earlier predicted, and that mass extinctions of fish and coral may occur unless humans take action.

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Jeff Swenerton
Center for Resource Solutions