The five-year study will look at the north east Atlantic, Antarctic and Arctic oceans, following fears acid levels have risen by 30% in the last 200 years.

The sea absorbs large quantities of carbon dioxide (co2) but in turn becomes more acidic.

As emissions increase so does the level of acidity forcing the government to look at biodiversity, habitats, species as well as how this will impact on people who make a living from the sea.

Huw Irranca-Davies, minister for the natural & marine environment, said: “Ocean acidification will be one of the biggest environmental concerns of this century, with major and far-reaching impacts.

“We need to understand much more about the scale and nature of the effect (co2) is having on our oceans and marine life.”

Luke Walsh

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