Acidification of the oceans could dissolve some of the compounds that make up plankton and coral reefs, as well as the materials they need to survive.
As the oceans become more acidic, the global food web could collapse and bring humanity to ruin in just a few decades. The side effect of greenhouse gas emissions is especially dangerous, writes Futurism.
A new study by scientists from the University of Edinburgh argues that even a small increase in acidity will cause profound changes in ocean ecosystems – changes that will then have global consequences in the future.
“Ocean acidification caused by plastic and toxic chemicals will trigger a plankton crisis that will devastate humanity for the next 25 years if we don’t take immediate action to stop pollution,” the authors of the article write.
The researchers’ main argument is that a more acidic ocean could dissolve some of the compounds that make up organisms such as plankton and coral reefs, as well as the materials they need to survive.
And while other species will eventually take their place, life forms that can survive in harsher conditions are much less suited to providing the backbone of the food chain, with the result that this phenomenon will destroy the main food source.
At the end of these events, experts say, food supplies for about 3 billion people could disappear completely. The impact of climate change on the oceans is already wreaking havoc on the planet, but some aspects of the study should be viewed with skepticism.
The authors make a number of surprising claims, without any reference, including that toxic microbes will poison the atmosphere when powerful winds blow them out of the ocean and into the air.
Still, these dubious claims aside, the study provides a dire warning for the planet’s future.
Given how difficult it is to control the ocean microbes on which the planet depends, and how little monitoring has been done, the study argues that we must change our behavior today if we want future generations to have a chance of salvation.