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Researchers: increase in acidity and temperature of the Mediterranean threatens the life in it


http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/science/.premium-1.2354535

 It is originating in greenhouse gas emissions, which  is the rate of chemical changes in the sea that  has accelerated tenfold compared to any other time in 50 million years.
 
Mediterranean mollusks depend on the surrounding body shells to protect themselves for millions of years,   but now they seem to be hard to escape a new threat here: a sharp increase in acidity of the Mediterranean. Last week, a hundred scientists from 12 countries in the Mediterranean region, including Israel, published the recent findings of the studies they conduct. They warned that greenhouse gas emissions and increase of the acidity of the sea, at a rate of tens of percent are two interrelated phenomena that dangers the unique flora and fauna systems of the region.

Seas and oceans can absorb large amounts of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, but the continued increase emissions of gas causes an increase in acidity. At the same time, the process of global warming from emissions continues, and it affects the temperature of the sea. The result is that it becomes more acidic and warmer.
According to data published by the scientists, the average temperature of the Mediterranean has risen by 0.67 degrees last three decades. It is estimated in the East Sea and the Aegean Sea that the rate will exceed between 1-1.5 degrees until mid-century.
As for the Mediterranean, we do not yet have enough data about the expected rate of increase in its acidity, but it is estimated that in 1995-2013 it increased by 10%. If predictions are realized regarding emissions of carbon dioxide in coming decades, the acidity will exceed 30% in the next four decades.
The increase in acidity of the Mediterranean is part of a global trend and is related to the distribution of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Last week, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, took part in a special conference that was held in Washington. Its title : OUR OCEAN, dealing with protecting the oceans. For this conference, various scientific data was published . It included  evaluation of ocean acidity levels that increased by 30% since the beginning of the industrial revolution. This means that the rate of chemical changes in the sea has accelerated tenfold compared to any other time in the last 50 million years

Scientists believe warming is causing species in the Mediterranean to move from warmed southern to the north. There are regions like Israel where there is real concern that animals are harmed directly by temperature rise of the water and cannot survive.


The increase in acidity could damage the limestone skeleton creation of animals such as oysters, algae and snails
that secrete limestone and there is also a risk of damage to plankton – stock of plants and small animals used for food to other animals.
A group of scientists in Barcelona,
​​also published their findings last week, expressed particular concern of harm to the "icons" of flora and fauna, as they relate to seaweed in many areas in the Mediterranean and limestone reefs. "These amazing ecosystems allow the existence of many other species  and protect the beaches from grinding ", Professor Maoz Fine, a researcher at Bar Ilan University and a research partner on regional study about changes in ocean acidity.

"Mediterranean red coral which grows slowly, is  especially sensitive to changes in acidity," said the document published by the scientists called "ten facts on warming and on increase in acidity in the Mediterranean". Vulnerable animals like clams can also cause damage to the food industry because it is based on the growth of the animal that are located in different areas of the sea.
Mediterranean scientists call to increase the actions to prevent the increase in acidity of the sea, including increasing the pressure on countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sometimes there are cases where preventive action can be taken locally as reducing the emission of wastewater containing fertilizers with acidic ingredients that make the problem in the same area bigger . They realize that  many areas will have to deal with the side effects of acidity and temperature rise in coming decades because there is a high probability of emission of large amounts of greenhouse gases.