Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Acid attack dissolves ocean plankton

Acid attack dissolves ocean plankton--sounds like an overly sensational tabloid headline, or the promo for a new horror flick. Sadly, it's a scientific article on the effects of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, leading to increasing carbonic acid in the ocean.

Or rather, that should be what the scientists are saying. Instead, they're throwing around words like acidification and it's new, more understandable substitute, ocean osteoporosis.

When will we scientists get the picture about how we talk about this? Acidification? A six syllable word? Or it's replacement, osteoporosis? Another six syllable word? Come on people, let's learn to communicate.

Most of the news until recently has been about the threat posed by the ocean acid attack. The latest study finds shell weights have decreased for real plankton in the real ocean. As the foraminifera go, so goes the world. And they're going away.....

Help, we're dissolving.....

Will we hear them in time?

1 comment:

Peter Etnoyer said...

I've been skeptical of some of these acidification experiments (too intense, too concentrated), but even more skeptical of the way the arguments have been invoked by reporters and NGOs.

I've come to agree with the term, but I'll maintain my skepticism for arguments sake. In this case, why compare forams with those from 50,000 years ago? Is that how far back they had to go to find a significant result? Why not 200 years ago?