19 Feb 2019

Commonwealth grapples with ocean acidification

4:51 pm on 19 February 2019

A workshop which aims to harness the collective power of the Commonwealth to fight against ocean acidification winds up in Dunedin, New Zealand today.

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Photo: 123rf

The Commonwealth Ocean Acidification Action Group Workshop at Otago University has brought together around 50 experts to share knowledge and experience.

The oceans are getting more acidic at an alarming rate due to the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

An ocean specialist at Fiji's climate change office is at the workshop.

Kushaal Raj said his country only started tracking ocean acidification in recent years.

However, Mr Raj said the NOAA satellite tracking acidification and temperature rise shows this year will be a tough one for Fiji.

"...because of the prediction of a high coral bleaching event, and then there's dropping pH which obviously affects marine organisms because they are very sensitive to minute temperature changes as well as pH.

"There are very few species which are tolerant and, when it comes to ocean or marine life, species are very sensitive."

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