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Guifang (Julia) Xue and Yu Long

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Deep Seabed Mining

Environmental Concerns and Improvement of Regulations

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Julia Guifang Xue and Xiangxin Xu

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Stephen A. Macko, Christina Fantasia and Guifang (Julia) XUE

The addition of massive amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and oceans as a result of anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel use, is changing the ocean chemistry by increasing acidity while lowering the ocean pH. Acidification influence on calcareous organisms at primary production levels could lead to catastrophic effects on higher organisms of food chains. The ocean influences all activities on Earth, being a source of nutrition and energy while buffering climate. Fisheries, the source of 16% of human nutrition, are already in a state of near collapse for some species owing to overfishing and mismanagement of a sustainable infrastructure. The modification of the pH of this ecosystem will add further stress to the lifecycles of marine organisms and will likely impact the declining fisheries harvests even further. Impacts on larval stages of shellfish, and the reef-building corals add even more to the complexity of the effects of “the other carbon dioxide problem” of acidification. We are only in the initial stages in the evaluation of the potential economic losses resulting from the lower pH, which are likely to include a significant portion of the multi-billion dollar u.s. fishery harvest. Projections for the global economic impacts of ocean acidification (oa) are being attempted by combining economic models with ecosystem ones, and including the observations derived from laboratory experiments, suggest that the global impact may exceed billions of dollars.