Photo of oysters

If we don’t halt climate change, the world’s oceans may never be the same.

The vast majority of the world’s oceans may never be the same if humanity doesn’t curb our carbon emissions.

As much as 95% of the climates in the surface ocean that exist today could completely disappear within 80 years, according to new research led by Katie Lotterhos, associate professor of marine and environmental sciences at Northeastern. That means that the creatures that live there could soon be subject to conditions that they have never experienced—and some of those conditions might literally erode their skeletons and shells.

The surface ocean is the swath of seawater that reaches from where air meets water down to a depth of about 330 feet. It’s a section of the seas that interacts directly with the elevated carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. That seawater absorbs the carbon dioxide that’s in the air until the two come into equilibrium, so the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere, the more CO2 there is in the surface ocean.

Read more at News@Northeastern.

Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University.

Marine and Environmental Sciences