Ocean acidification is happening

I read with interest the Empire article “Murkowski introduces bill to study ocean acidification.”

I applaud U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, on this progressive bill to study the effects on ocean acidification (OA). It is exciting to see lawmakers begin to more and more prioritize climate change-related issues. In a moral sense, as humans we must address human-caused problems before the effects become irreversible. We already know that ocean acidification is happening, global surface ocean pH has already fallen by a tenth, a 30 percent increase in acidity, since pre-industrial times. The article mentioned that ocean pH could fall all the way to 7.1, while unlikely, if it did it would actually represent at 900 percent increase in acidity compared to the estimate of 60-70 percent that was printed. It is not only the change in acidity, it is the speed in which it is increasing that is worrisome. It is estimated that OA is occurring 10 to 100 times faster than any time in the past 50 million years. Changing too fast does not give organisms that depend on carbonates the time they need to adapt to the new living conditions.

As we begin to study the effects of OA, it is important that we also address the root causes of this change. We must continue to reduce our carbon footprint and curb the consequences of the burning of fossil fuels and the gigantic amount to of CO2 that humans produce.

I am hopeful that this bill will pass and this study will help us in the future better understand the impact that OA can have on an ecosystem.

Richard Knight,

Austin, Texas