At the recent COP18 UN Climate Change Conference 2012, Dr Carol Turley OBE, a Senior Scientist and ocean acidification expert at PML, spoke in a video interview about the three key impacts on our oceans; warming waters, ocean acidification and de-oxygenation.
During the interview Dr Turley warned that whilst we now understand the chemical impacts of raising CO2 for our oceans, less is known about the impacts this will have on our marine ecosystems (though there is clear evidence that these organisms respond negatively to the increased carbon dioxide). Dr Turley also went on to suggest that there is a 'perfect storm' approaching – though we may not be able to see, smell or touch it, which will carry on for tens of thousands of years. As humans are dependant on the sea for a vast amount of services - with one billion people depending solely on the oceans for the protein in their diets - awareness of these negative impacts is vitally important.
Dr Turley refers to a tipping point we are now approaching and stressed that the next ten to fifteen years are crucial, calling on politicians in Doha to take positive action on reducing CO2 emissions and also to discuss how communities will be able to adapt to ocean acidification and warming.