The head of NOAA says global warming has an evil twin. It's a variety of oceanic acid stomach. The chemistry is pretty straight forward for those who managed first-year chemistry in high school. CO2 + H20 = H2CO3. That would be carbonic acid, not the worst on the pH scale but significant. It is much of what has helped underground streams carve the millions of miles of caverns through limestone. NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco says additional CO2 into the atmosphere means additional CO2 dissolved in the ocean. That ushers in the above chemical reaction leading to more carbonic acid. And Lubchenco says the acidified ocean will mean trouble for pelagic plants and animals. A recently released study from Hawaiian scientists shows a gradual acidification of the ocean over the past 20 years. Because of minimal scientific concern in the past and lack of datasets, it may be some time before the scope of the CO2 effects on the ocean becomes clear. If CO2 in the ocean becomes a serious concern this will lead to even more clamor for carbon sequestration. This could be bad news, good news. Terrible for ocean creatures, great for carbon capture tech.
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