15,000 delegates, 5,000 journalists, tens of thousands of activists in the streets. To put it mildly, we’re expecting a frenzy in Copenhagen when negotiators from around the world meet to address climate change. A group of Scripps Oceanography scientists, students and supporters will be there in the hope of informing the talks with the latest research on climate change.
We’ll be there to talk about phenomena like ocean acidification. We see clear evidence that the oceans are taking up atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by human activities and become more acidic. The raised acidity hampers the ability of shell- and skeleton-forming organisms like coral and clams to grow one of their main sources of defense. It may only be decades before drastic restructuring of some ecosystems begins and collapse of some fisheries becomes more likely.
But we recognize it’s important not to be all doom and gloom. Our researchers have positive news as well. Existing technologies already in use in the United States and Europe can make a huge difference in attenuating global warming and can substantially improve public health in the developing world. This can happen now.