The Sixth Extinction By Elizabeth Kolbert: Chapter Analysis

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Castello Argonese, a tiny island in the Tyrrhenian Sea gives us an enlightening glimpse of Earth in 2100. Chapter six of the book The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, is solely devoted to her experience in these waters where the vents on the sea floor bubbled up almost 100% carbon dioxide. She talks about the consequences of constantly burning fossil fuels to add about 365 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere and how it could lead to our own demise. The thing about carbon dioxide is that the moment it interacts with water, it becomes an acid which can be deadly to the animals living in these oceans obviously, but also to organisms above sea which includes humans. Elizabeth Kolbert wants us to understand that our actions have tragic consequences and we too will be part of that tragedy if we don’t stop now.
The natural exchange of gases between the ocean and the air is
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When carbon dioxide concentration in waters is altered so is the concentration of other elements such ad nitrogen and iron which are key ingredients to survival for microbial communities. That is one consequence but this process could affect the calcifiers drastically. These organisms build their own bodies with calcium carbonates. But because of the high CO2 concentrations the concentration of calcium and carbonate ions are drastically low therefore the organisms which rely on calcium carbonate cannot survive. This was clearly visible when Elizabeth went to those sea floor vents which were pumping carbon dioxide. She claimed that weren’t many organisms around these vents and if there were some lingering organisms around these vents then they “end up with holes in their shells” (Kolbert 122). At the top of the vents where the CO2 gas actually spews from, there isn’t a single marine organism near

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