By 2100, the world’s oceans will be warmer and more acidic, with less dissolved oxygen and lower yields of fish and shellfish, making life very difficult for up to 870 million people who rely on the sea for food, jobs and income.
Happily aloft in the vicinity of my father’s hat, and the weather having cleared since the Ohioan missed its compass heading, I was free to form my earliest impression of the sea at a safe and sunny distance, lulled by the sound of waves breaking on the beach, delighting in the drift of gulls in a bright blue sky.
Leave it to global warming to ruin both a day at the beach and an entire oceanic ecosystem. Researchers are blaming the environment’s public enemy No. 1 as well as rising seawater acidity for what has been the slowest coral growth rate at the Great Barrier Reef in more than 400 years.