Ocean acidification causing coral ‘osteoporosis’ on iconic reefs

Ocean acidification causing coral ‘osteoporosis’ on iconic reefs

New research from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) reveals the distinct impact that ocean acidification is having on coral growth on some of the world’s iconic reefs. “This is the first unambiguous detection and attribution of ocean acidification’s impact on coral growth,” says lead author and WHOI scientist Weifu Guo. This phenomenon, known as ocean acidification, has led to a 20 percent decrease in the concentration of carbonate ions in seawater. Ocean acidification targets the density of the skeleton, silently whittling away at the coral’s strength, much like osteoporosis weakens bones in humans. The compounding effects of temperature, local stressors, and now ocean acidification will be devastating for many reefs.”

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