Environmental and Economic Impacts of Ocean Acidification, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, Second Session, April 22, 2010   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the opening statement of Maria Cantwell: "We live on a blue planet. And on this day, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, it's no coincident that we are focusing our attention on our oceans. They are 70 percent of the Earth's surface and provide a foundation for all of life. And yet, there is a grave threat that lies hidden beneath the surface, called 'ocean acidification.' And since the start of the Industrial Revolution, humans have increased the global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration by 35 percent. But, carbon dioxide is not only accumulating in our atmosphere, it is being absorbed by our oceans. Approximately one-quarter of our global carbon dioxide emissions end up in oceans, and we know now that this is changing the very chemistry of our oceans. And while the full implications of these changes are unclear, the initial signs are frightening. As sea water becomes more acidic, it begins to withhold the basic chemical building blocks needed by marine organisms. Scientists predict that a more acidic ocean could dissolve the shells of tiny organisms that make up the base of the ocean's food chain. And when it comes to ocean acidification, we are not just damaging the ocean's ecosystem, we are threatening its very foundation. And even though these changes are occurring out of sight and below the surface of the ocean, we are starting to see some of the very worrying signs. And that's what this hearing today is to discuss." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Maria Cantwell, Olympia J. Snowe, Barbara Boxer, Frank R. Lautenberg, Mark Begich, Sigourney Weaver, Thomas Ingram, Donald A. Waters, James P. Barry, and John T. Everett.

Report Number:
S. Hrg. 111-962; Senate Hearing 111-962
Public Domain
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Government Printing Office, Federal Digital System: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/
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