Changing Ocean Chemistry: the Poem
A study published earlier this month indicated that due to manmade emissions of carbon dioxide, the earth’s oceans are tipping toward acidity faster than at any time in the last 300 million years. It made world headlines, and this week the study was the subject of Sunday New York Times editorial, “Changing the Chemistry of Earth’s Oceans.” And now, the poem.
To others I’ve sometimes been bound,
Not locked in some hard, rocky stratum,
I’m telling you: I get around!
Forth during floods of basalt
The P-T, some folks have been rude:
They say that it’s partly my fault!
The air got too crowded for me.
My buddies and I then in-gassed
Down into the salty sea.
Stole an H and an O.
The leftover H found C fodder,
It was hot, reefs struggled to grow.
Now that was a happenin’ time.
Plankton were rife and bodacious;
I left the party with lime.
Then my neighbors and I were dissolved!
They’re still on the hunt for the villain;
Some say methane was involved.
Of acidifications now past:
For sea bugs to feel that harsh burn,
The pH change has to be fast.
(if it beats out the weathering flux)
Then carbonate shells lose the race …
For some critters, that really sucks.
Many things drop it or spike it.
I’ve seen crazy things, but this modern world, Man …
I’ve never seen anything like it!