Ocean acidification may present one of the gravest threats to our planet’s ecosystems and yet it is also one of the least publicized aspects of the global climate change issue. Acidification is occurring very rapidly, causing unprecedented changes to the chemistry of the oceans. It’s been estimated that roughly half of human-produced CO2 emissions over the past two centuries (since the beginning of the industrial age) have been absorbed by the oceans, leading to a drop in ocean surface pH of nearly 0.1 units (on the logarithmic pH scale).
I don’t feel my age, I certainly don’t act my age, and I’m delighted when people tell me I don’t look my age. But the 35,000 air miles I’ve logged since the beginning of the year have taken an unexpected toll that a younger me might have been able to simply shrug off. It’s in these circumstances that a Medical Doctor overrides an Ocean Doctor, and my orthopedic surgeon was clear with me that if I was going to be able to shed my wool suit for a wetsuit for our next Cuba expedition in June 2009, I would need to listen, obey, and lie still.