Caribbean na­tions plan to test ocean acid­ity

The Star Malaysia - - World -

BR IDGETOWN ( Bar­ba­dos): Tourism and fish­ery-de­pen­dent Caribbean na­tions plan to test the acid­ity of the Caribbean Sea as a re­sult of in­creased ab­sorp­tion of green­house gases, a se­nior re­gional of­fi­cial said.

The In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency “will as­sist” with the project, Mil­ton Haughton, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Caribbean Re­gional Fish­eries Mech­a­nism, told re­porters.

“I am very pos­i­tive that we will have things go­ing by next year,” he said in Bar­ba­dos where Caribbean agri­cul­ture min­is­ters are hold­ing their an­nual meet­ing.

Haughton said the Caribbean would also be es­tab­lish­ing lab­o­ra­to­ries and train­ing per­son­nel to con­duct fu­ture test­ing.

Sci­en­tists al­ready be­lieve that the in­creased acid­ity is caused by the sea’s ab­sorp­tion of car­bon emis­sions.

“In more re­cent times sci­en­tists have re­alised that the ab­sorp­tion of car­bon diox­ide in the ocean is ac­tu­ally caus­ing se­ri­ous, se­ri­ous prob­lems in the ocean it­self.

“Ba­si­cally, the sea­wa­ter is be­com­ing more and more acidic and that is not good for the liv­ing ma­rine or­gan­isms,” Haughton said.

He added that acidic and in­creas­ingly warm seas were caus­ing co­ral bleach­ing and dis­solv­ing the car­bon­ates that shell­fish re­quire to

make their shells.

“The fact is that for many of our coun­tries, our fish­eries are based on the health of the co­ral reefs,” Haughton said.

Avoid­ing global cli­mate chaos will re­quire a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion of so­ci­ety and the world econ­omy that is “un­prece­dented in scale,” the United Na­tions said. It warned that the world must be­come “car­bon neu­tral” by 2050 to have at least a 50/50 chance of keep­ing global warm­ing be­low 1.5°C.

— AFP

Par­adise in dan­ger: In more re­cent times sci­en­tists have re­alised that the ab­sorp­tion of car­bon diox­ide in the Caribbean Sea is ac­tu­ally caus­ing se­ri­ous, se­ri­ous prob­lems in the ocean it­self.

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