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Pacific volcano offers glimpse of acidic ocean 30 September 2009

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The eco-nightmare of choice for an increasing number of people today is ocean acidification. In the north-west Pacific Ocean, underwater vents within the submerged caldera that forms the Maug Islands emit carbon dioxide into a tropical shallow-water environment, creating a localized level of acidity that is fatal to marine life. The Smithsonian Magazine has an article all about the resulting ‘death zone’:

The unique death zone, where the water is so acidic from the volcanic vents that no coral can survive, is only 30 feet across and 200 feet long … Both the death zone and the transition zone, where highly acidic water merges with normal sea water, should yield insights into how corals will react to a changing ocean.

A swim through the ocean’s futureSmithsonian Magazine, 17 September 2009

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