What happens if there’s no more “shell” in shellfish?
A new documentary on Discovery’s Planet Green network, Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification (premiering Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, and repeating throughout the month), explores this and other questions related to ocean acidification, a little-known but potentially disastrous consequence of global warming.
Known by some scientists as “the other carbon problem,” the increased amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide (caused by the burning of fossil fuels) also have been absorbed into the world’s oceans during the past 200 years, the documentary says. The oceans cover 70% of the planet’s surface.
The additional carbon not only warms the oceans, but it’s also radically transforming their chemistry, says Lisa Suatoni of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which produced the film. As the carbon reacts with the seawater, it’s rapidly making the water more acidic.