MOSS LANDING, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Global warming … it's happening as we speak. The last two decades have been the warmest in 400 years. In the past 20 year, the temperature in Alaska has risen at twice the global average. One of the biggest impacts is being seen underwater.
You need Flash Player 8 or higher to view video content with the ROO Flash Player.
Click here to download and install it.
Its power is endless. Its beauty -- immeasurable. But our oceans are changing in ways scientists didn't expect.
"By the middle of this century, we will be well on course to having changes in the ocean that have not been seen on this earth for millions of years," Peter Brewer, Ph.D., an ocean chemist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, Calif., told Ivanhoe.
Who's to blame?
"We're now disposing of carbon dioxide in the ocean quite fast," Dr. Brewer said. "About a million tons an hour is going into the ocean world-wide."
But not all the problems are coming from cars. The latest research shows freighters, tankers and cruise ships are producing as much pollution as 300 million cars. Carbon dioxide and pollution are causing our oceans to get warmer, creating more dead zones -- killing reefs and claiming fish. But global warming is also transforming our seas in an unexpected way.
"It's making the ocean slightly more acidic -- changing the pH," Dr. Brewer said.
Dr. Brewer has found the more acidic the sea water, the farther sound will travel underwater.
"So a blue whale will be able to hear its neighbor at much longer distances than it used to," he said.
Sound is already traveling 10 percent farther in oceans than it did a few hundred years ago. By 2050, that number could increase by 70 percent, making it easier for sea life to find food, find mates and hear approaching boats and ships from farther away. The acidity level will also benefit our military, making it easier to pinpoint threats faster underwater.
The American Geophysical Union and the Acoustical Society of America contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report. This report has also been produced thanks to a generous grant from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.
More than two million Americans are living with either a pace maker or defibrillator. The wires connect to these life-saving devices could be deadly. We’ll show you what doctors are doing to remove these dangerous leads.