Underwater vents show the oceans of the future

Researchers have seen first-hand how future oceans may look, with higher carbon dioxide levels leading to acidification and altered underwater ecosystems.

The glimpse comes from waters near Ischia, Italy, where unusual shallow-water volcanic vents in the floor of the Mediterranean Sea bubble cool carbon dioxide into the water, creating a local underwater neighborhood that may resemble the ocean of the future. The vents are unusual because most similar sites also spout hot, sulfurus brews.

If the results are a prediction of the future, “you are left with a dramatically different ecosystem that is likely going to be less able to deal with stress and is going to have less biomass available to feed organisms higher up the food chain,” researchers said.

Read more at Stanford University