Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Acidic oceans spell trouble for marine life, humans

New research finds the earth's oceans are the most acidic they've been since dinosaurs became extinct 65-million years ago. Scientists say this could spell trouble for marine life and possibly humans. KPBS reporter Beth Ford Roth has more.

When coal, oil, and gas are burned carbon dioxide is released, some of which is absorbed by the ocean. Something called carbonic acid is created, and that has been making the oceans increasingly acidic, according to new research from Ken Caldeira of Stanford University. Caldeira says this acidity level is especially dangerous to coral reefs, clams, and tiny plankton.

Many species of Plankton which form the base of the food chain would likely go extinct and that would have ramifications up the food chain but to say exactly what that's going to do, no one really understands the way the ocean works enough to predict.

Caldeira says carbon dioxide emissions need to be drastically reduced in order to slow this trend. Beth Ford Roth, KPBS news.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.