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The Quiet Tsunami: The Ecological, Economic, Social, and Political Consequences of Ocean Acidification

Paterson Review of International Affairs (2012) 12: 123–143.

21 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2012  

Natassia Ciuriak

Ciuriak Consulting Inc.

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

A large portion of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere is absorbed by the world’s oceans. They become more acidic as they absorb the gas. This has far‑reaching implications for the oceanic food-web, biodiversity and the global economy, particularly fishing and ecotourism industries in developing countries. This article briefly outlines the scientific evidence of ocean acidification and the implications of anthropogenic carbon emissions for marine ecosystems. It then assesses the economic, social and political ramifications of ocean acidification and suggests a new strategy for climate change policy. The “quiet tsunami” of oceanic climate change necessitates a policy shift away from the business‑as‑usual approach to reducing carbon emissions. The high stakes involved in this looming crisis may prompt unwilling governments to act in order to ensure food security and protect key economic markets around the world.

Keywords: ocean acidification, climate change, biodiversity, coral reefs, Southeast Asia

JEL Classification: Q54, Q56, Q57, Q58

Suggested Citation

Ciuriak, Natassia, The Quiet Tsunami: The Ecological, Economic, Social, and Political Consequences of Ocean Acidification (2012). Paterson Review of International Affairs (2012) 12: 123–143.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2146648

Natassia Ciuriak (Contact Author)

Ciuriak Consulting Inc. ( email )

83 Stewart St.
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6H9
Canada

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