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Acid Ocean Roundup

July 28, 2006

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is working its way into the oceans.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Is the sea becoming soda? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

[Opening of a soda can]

HIRSHON:
Carbon dioxide is the gas responsible for the satisfying fizz in soda. Unfortunately, it also forms the carbonic acid in soda that hurts your teeth. Now government scientists report that the same thing is happening in our oceans: rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are turning oceans more acidic, dissolving coral reefs and killing the plankton that make most of Earth’s oxygen. One researcher claims we’re seeing the biggest change in ocean chemistry in 650,000 years.

In other news, fifty leading amphibian researchers have announced a new, coordinated effort to save the world’s frogs and salamanders. They report that nearly a third of the world’s amphibians are threatened by factors including pollution, environmental change, and disease.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.