‘Climate models predicted it wouldn’t happen until the end of the century.
So Seattle researchers were stunned to discover that vast swaths of acidified sea water are already showing up along the Pacific Coast as carbon dioxide from power plants, cars and factories mixes into the ocean.
In surveys from Vancouver Island to the tip of Baja California, the scientists found the first evidence that large amounts of corrosive water are reaching the continental shelf — the shallow sea margin where most marine creatures live. In some places, including Northern California, the acidified water was as little as four miles from shore.
“What we found … was truly astonishing,” said oceanographer Richard Feely, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle. “This means ocean acidification may be seriously impacting marine life on the continental shelf right now.”‘