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Feb 27,2007 SACN

Global warming, with it's threats to life on Earth and civilisation, is a worry.

Scientists consider placing giant mirrors in space to save the planet by reducing the amount of energy reaching the Earth's surface, bringing temperatures down.

But that misses the point that our addiction to fossil carbon fuels is changing our environment in other equally dangerous ways than simply heating up the planet and melting glaciers and ice caps.

Higher ratios of CO2 in the atmosphere will have fundamental implications for biology, particualarly the biology of plants and the food chain.

But even if this problem is solved, there remains another threat, perhaps the worst threat of all.

Acidification of the oceans, no longer just an alarming theiry, but increasingly observable fact, will have profound implications for the marine environment and everything that lives there.

And if you think that doesn't matter for creatures and populations that live on the land, you would be very wrong.

Because what happens in the sea fundamentally affects what happens in the atmosphere and on the land.  Collapse of marine ecosystems ultimately will lead to the collapse of terrestial ecosystems and threatens the survival of our species as much, perhaps more so, than the warming...........................

"Unless we halt completely the emission of carbon dioxide from the world's energy systems, we risk an oceanic catastrophe worse than the one associated with the disappearance of the dinosaurs."


"Howard has just returned to the Australian Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research Program's base in southern Tasmania state after leading a team of 60 international scientists on a five-week expedition to gather evidence on how ocean systems are struggling to cope with the build-up of greenhouse gases.

"I would not say it's being killed," Howard said in a telephone interview. But it is being changed. "And once the system is altered ... it's going to be a different ecosystem," he said."


...............and It's happening now.  


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