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government funds research into climate change and seas

A research programme into the effects of climate change on the UK's seas has received financial support from the government.

The five-year project will explore how acidity in the oceans, caused by rising carbon dioxide levels, is resulting in changes to the food chain and affecting biodiversity and natural habitats.

A total of £11 million has been earmarked for the research, of which £2.5 million is being provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the remainder from the Natural Environment Research Councils.

Huw Irranca-Davies, minister for the natural and 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 carbon dioxide is having on our oceans and marine life."

A recent report from the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership suggests that carbon dioxide levels in the sea have risen by 30 per cent over the last two centuries.

This is the fastest rate of increase in 65 million years.

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