Ocean acidification

Besides increases in temperatures, the world’s oceans also take up CO2, leading to a lowering of pH-levels in the water. This process is especially relevant to marine ecosystems and coral reefs, which are very sensitive to changes in ocean chemistry. Strong ocean acidification depresses metabolic rates in some organisms and reduces the ability of species to sequester calcium required for building shells and skeletons, or even leads to dissolving existing coral reef structures. We assess greenhouse-gas emission scenarios regarding the possibility to prevent the worst of the projected effects of ocean acidification.

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Science and policy to assist and support SIDSs and LDCs to negotiate a strong international climate regime, enabling low carbon development and supporting adaptation needs.