Climate change by 2100, 150% can increase the acidity of the oceans, lowering the pH of seawater by 0.3 points since pre-industrial times, it could have serious consequences for the 1 billion people who rely on seafood is the primary source of protein, according to the report of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), released on Thursday in talks on climate change in Cancun, Mexico.
Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which runs from 29 November to 10 December, will be the 16th meeting in a row and sixth of the Parties — the parties to the Kyoto Protocol. As expected, Cancun gather around 15,000 participants. In the first week of the conference will hold talks in the working groups, and from December 7 to begin high-level meeting, which will arrive heads of state and ministers of environment and climate policy.
According to lead author of the report Dr Carol Turley (Carol Turley), over the last 200 years the average pH has dropped by 30%, and already in 2060, "this decrease can exceed 100%."
"We are particularly concerned about the speed of this process," — said Turley, adding that this rate change was observed in the last 65 million years.
A number of studies of marine ecosystems show that the oxidation of water prevents marine organisms such as shellfish and corals, "build" their skeletons, and also changes the behavior of juvenile and adult fish of some species. In addition, the key may be affected due to the food chain of marine ecosystems, said the lead author of the report.
According to the report, it is likely that some species, such as algae, may benefit from a change in the acidity of the oceans. However, observations of natural sources of CO2 in the Mediterranean show that, although many species of algae do better near these sources, they lose their natural "satellites" in the ecosystem.
Turley also said that the areas most important to commercial fisheries, such as shelf seas, particularly vulnerable to this process. Today, nearly 80% of the fish caught by 10% the world's oceans, so changing the acidity can significantly affect the commercial fishery.
"The effects of ocean acidification will be observed at the global, regional and local levels," — said Turley.
She added that, probably just before they show up in polar waters, which are due to low temperatures absorbs CO2. In addition, the industrial areas of the oxidation process can locally increase the sulfur compounds.
The representative of UNEP Tim Caston (Tim Caston) stressed that the process of ocean acidification becomes "extra load" on ecosystems, in addition to pollution and excessive amounts of fishing. To combat the aging process and its effects, said Caston, you need not only a significant reduction of greenhouse emissions, 25% of which is absorbed by the oceans, but much more extensive study of its impact on individual species and ecosystems, as well as the use of research results in the management of water resources.
Scientific director of UNEP Joseph Alcamo (Joseph Alcamo) during a press conference that the program experts also worked on the study on the influence of climate change processes of persistent organic pollutants — the most hazardous organic compounds, the list of which is determined by the Stockholm Convention, and pollutants, such as soot and tropospheric ozone.