Sep 07 2015 Posted: 09:36 IST

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations on the increase leading to an increase in global warming

As carbon dioxide levels continue to rise in the World’s oceans, NUI Galway will host a public seminar examining ocean acidification on Wednesday, 16 September. Ocean acidification arises as a result of the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth’s oceans, caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have been on the increase for the past two hundred years due to human industrial (fossil fuel use for transportation and electricity production) and agricultural (greenhouse gas emissions and land use change leading to deforestation) activities. This has led to an increase in the average temperature of the Earth, or global warming.

The oceans play a role in regulating the global climate by absorbing much of the heat and carbon dioxide. These increasing carbon dioxide levels have caused the oceans to become more acidic, resulting in significant changes in marine organisms.

Delivering the lecture is Dr Richard Feely of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle. As one of the World-leading authorities on ocean acidification, Dr Feely will discuss the present and future implications of increased carbon dioxide levels on the health of our ocean ecosystems and related ocean-based economies.

Conference organiser, Dr Brian Ward of NUI Galway’s School of Physics, said: “Ocean acidification is now recognised as one of the biggest potential impacts arising from increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and this public lecture is an excellent opportunity to hear about ocean acidification from a world-leading expert.”

The conference will take place at 7.30pm in the Aula Maxima and is free to the public. Advance registration is advised as the number of places is limited. To register visit http://t9.ie/1gu.

For further information please email Dr Brian Ward at bward@nuigalway.ie.

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