The following study was produced by Media Matters for America, a progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.
The study concludes that 77% of Americans say they have read or heard nothing about ocean acidification. Of the 23% who say that they have heard of ocean acidification, only 32 percent understand that ocean acidification is caused by carbon dioxide. In other words, less than 8 percent of Americans understand the very basics of one of the largest threats to our oceans — and a major culprit for that ignorance is the national media.
STUDY: Kardashians Get 40 Times More News Coverage Than Ocean Acidification
June 27, 2012 10:58 am ET by Shauna Theel
Carbon dioxide emissions are not just warming up our atmosphere, they’re also changing the chemistry of our oceans. This phenomenon is known as ocean acidification, or sometimes as global warming’s “evil twin” or the “osteoporosis of the sea.” Scientists have warned that it poses a serious threat to ocean life. Yet major American news outlets covered the Kardashians over 40 times more often than ocean acidification over the past year and a half.
Rising carbon dioxide emissions have caused the oceans to become around 30 percent more acidic since the Industrial Revolution, and if we do not lower the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, the ocean surface could be up to 150 percent more acidic by 2100. At that level, the shells of some plankton would dissolve, large parts of the ocean would become inhospitable to coral reef growth, and the rapidity of the change could threaten much of the marine food web. According to the National Research Council, the chemical changes are taking place “at an unprecedented rate and magnitude” and are “practically irreversible on a time scale of centuries.”
Despite a boom of recent scientific research documenting this threat, there has been a blackout on the topic at most media outlets. Since the end of 2010, ABC, NBC, and Fox News have completely ignored ocean acidification, and the Los Angeles Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, CNN, and CBS have barely mentioned it at all.
To read the full article, please click here: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/06/27/study-kardashians-get-40-times-more-news-covera/186703
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