Key discovery 6: Seawater is being acidified and the corals can die out
The water chemistry in the sea is changing, making it difficult for organisms with calcareous skeletons. Photo: Stein Ø. Nilsen, tromsofoto.net
- The rising CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is expected to lead to an acidification of seawater in the next hundred years that has not taken place during the past 20 million years.
- The water chemistry in the sea is changing, making it difficult for organisms with calcareous skeletons, like corals, to produce carbonate. Large parts of the deepwater coral reefs in Norwegian waters grow at depths where the water chemistry may reach critical values by the end of this century.
- Organisms with calcareous shells are expected to have to move to other areas or will have their range greatly reduced due to acidification of the seawater.
- In a global perspective, the arctic seas are most sensitive to this type of change.