Ocean acidification! (We may have "slightly" adjusted the color of the pic (above) for dramatic effect.)
The term sends shivers up our spine.
As it should… can you just imagine it?
Surfers yelling for help as their boards slowly melt beneath their feet, scuba divers' tanks corroding until they rupture in an epic underwater implosion, beach-goers everywhere running into the surf, only to wash up on the shore as piles of goo!
It's so awful.
It's also an extreme exaggeration, but we just wanted to get across how serious ocean acidification is.
The ocean's acid levels have been rising at a shocking rate and they are threatening coral reefs, causing basically "osteoporosis of the sea."
The destruction of coral reefs could change food security, tourism and life as we know it.
The ocean is a huge interconnected ecosystem, and if one domino falls, so do the rest.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief, Jane Lubchenco said:
"We've got sort of the perfect storm of stressors from multiple places really hammering reefs around the world. It's a very serious situation."
A perfect storm? Like the movie of the same name? That's not a good outlook because, spoiler alert, everyone dies.
As greenhouse gasses build due to global warming, the ocean absorbs the extra carbon dioxide, which in turn ups the acidity.
"The carbon dioxide that we have put in the atmosphere will continue to be absorbed by oceans for decades. It is going to be a long time before we can stabilize and turn around the direction of change simply because it's a big atmosphere and it's a big ocean."
We say drop an oil tanker sized load of Tums into the ocean.
You can have that one for free, science.
[Image via Mison/Wikimedia Commons.]
Tags: acid, age, bad, beach, change, food, free, help, life, ocean, running, scary, science, serious, stress, water, world