Throwback to the beautiful summer days in June, when I was travelling down south to Germany from Stockholm, crossing the Baltic from Malmö to the UNESCO world heritage site that is the Königsstuhl ("Kings chair") National Park . These white calcareous cliffs are the product of millions of years worth of sedimentation of what were once calcifying diatoms and other unicellular organisms. These sediments were pushed upwards, however, as the glacial period ended and the loss of the weight of the ice sheet allowed the continental shelf to expand again. Until today we see the scandinavian shelf elevating at a rate of ~1cm per year; a very quick pace in geological terms. However, every year, several parts of these cliff hangs collapse and fall into the ocean, where the calcium dissolves in the water and can be used for calcareous organisms, therefore participating in a natural cycle that is more and more disturbed by climate change every year. As our oceans absorb more CO2, the balance of dissolved carbon in the water is skewed more towards the acidic than the basic side of the scale, and inhibits the growth and formation of calcareous structures: this can be detrimental for unicellular as well as higher organisms such as sponges, shells and crustaceans.
If we want our national monuments, our resources and our natural treasures to prevail, we must take action for climate change mitigation, and work towards sustainable energy production, reduce our consumption of meat and dairy and vote for climate legislature. We all share this worderful earth, and we can all contribute to making it better for all of us.
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