Do you know what ocean acidification is? I didn’t.
Tonight, I attended a lecture by National Geographic environmental writer, Craig Welch. Welch wrote “Sea Change,” a Seattle Times story about ocean acidification that drastically affects marine life and communities from Southeast Asia to the Pacific Northwest. I learned that people react to ocean acidification, which is elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the ocean, more than they do to climate change, which is the same thing but in the atmosphere.
As silly as this sounds, I thought about Finding Nemo. He said that the acidification changes the behavior of how marine life think and act; a clown fish’s brain behavior changes and causes them to forget where they live and fight off predators. Fish and plankton that are native to Southeast Asia have been found on the coasts of California and Alaska because of the heat and lack of oxygen in the water. In other words, they are suffocating. Not to mention, the carbon dioxide shows as bubbles underwater and I just think of that one fish who was obsessed with the bubbles in the fish tank. In this case, as Welch found out in Papua New Guinea, the fishermen said the fish and other sea life do not live near these bubbles.
It was an incredible presentation not only because I learned something new but because ocean acidification is a less-known topic that hopefully won’t be too late to reverse in the coming years. The valuable things I learned are how to craft pitches to editors as well as to organizations to fund your projects. I really appreciated how honest Welch was throughout the lecture. He was open about how little he knew about science when he spoke to scientists, how terrifying it was to report in isolated, dangerous places, how complicated it was to speak to non-English speaking sources, just how new he was to everything and wasn’t afraid to admit it. It’s refreshing to see how far a little ambition and curiosity will take you. Here is the story:
Thanks for reading!