by Matthew Cobb
Most of our planet is covered in ocean, and throughout the history of life, the seas have played a decisive role in shaping biodiversity. In the future, a major effect of increasing CO2 levels will be felt through acidification of the sea (as CO2 dissolves into the water), which will have massive effects on sea life, even if there is a very small change in acidity.
One of the major ways that the oceans affect terrestrial life is through their effects on climate, via the major ocean currents. (I write this from a UK that should be freezing cold because of its latitude, but which is warmed by the Gulf Stream.) This rather trippy video (complete with appropriate chillout music) is from NASA and shows a model of the world’s ocean currents. Watch and wonder – wonder both in awe, and wonder what would happen if any of them stopped, or reversed… (Be patient – the video takes a long time to start, for some reason…)