Climate Change is a widely recognized phenomenon – recognized by national governments, international agencies, and scientists. It is the subject of deep, thorough scientific analysis and research by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). From 1990, the IPCC has produced a series of Assessment Reports, Special Reports, Technical Papers, methodologies and other products that have become standard works of reference, widely used by policymakers, scientists and other experts. Their most recent publication the “Third Assessment Report” adopted in September 2001 depicts a future devastated by drought, flooding and extreme weather, unless global GHG emissions are reduced by 60%.
According to the latest Royal Society’s report, “Ocean acidification due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide”, CO2 emitted to the atmosphere by human activities is being absorbed by the oceans, making them more acidic (lowering the pH the measure of acidity). The full report can be found at www.royalsoc.ac.uk
Evidence indicates that emissions of carbon dioxide from human activities over the past 200 years have already led to a reduction in the average pH of surface seawater of 0.1 units and could fall by 0.5 units by the year 2100. This pH is probably lower than has been experienced for hundreds of millennia and, critically, at a rate of change probably 100 times greater than at any time over this period. The increase in global average temperature during the last century has affected the ecosystems and a great number of species. IPCC expects a further increase of around 1.48oC and 5.88oC in the 21st century as a result to increasing levels of CO2 ­.
Future climate changes are expected to strongly affect biodiversity and a great number of researches have been focused on the study of heat limits of organisms and on estimating the probability of change in their distribution. On the way of understanding better the heat limits of marine organisms at the sight of Climate Change studies should be focused on a wide range of organisms’ reactions in all levels; from molecules to systemic.