NAIROBI, Kenya -- The world‘s oceans are becoming more acidic, which poses a threat to sea life and Earth‘s fragile food chain, a climate expert said Thursday.
"The oceans are rapidly changing," said professor Stefan Rahmstorf on the sidelines of a U.N. conference on climate change that has drawn delegates from more than 100 countries to Kenya. "Ocean acidification is a major threat to marine organisms."
In a study titled "The Future Oceans — Warming Up, Rising High, Turning Sour," Rahmstorf and eight other scientists warned that the world is witnessing, on a global scale, problems similar to the acid rain phenomenon of the 1970s and 1980s.
David Santillo, a senior scientist at Greenpeace‘s Research Laboratories in Exeter, Britain, said it had come as a shock to scientists that the oceans are turning acidic because of carbon dioxide emissions.
Rahmstorf also reiterated warnings of rising sea levels caused by global warming, saying that in 70 years, temperature increases will lead more frequent storms with 200 million people threatened by floods.
The 1997 Kyoto accord requires 35 industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. The Kyoto countries meeting in Nairobi are continuing talks on what kind of emissions targets and timetables should follow 2012.
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