這波宣言於1月31日召開的一場研討會上發表，當天摩納哥親王艾伯特二世（Prince Albert II）呼籲，今年底將在哥本哈根召開聯合國氣候變遷大會，全球政治領袖在與會之前務必關照此一宣言的內容。該研討會由摩納哥親王帶領的環境基金會贊助，親王表示：「我強力贊同此宣言，也希望到年底會議時，所有的政治領袖都已聽聞過此宣言。」
Immediate government action to halt greenhouse gas emissions is needed to limit damage to fisheries and coral reefs due to increasing ocean acidity, warned more than 150 marine scientists from 26 countries in a declaration issued today.
Ocean acidification may make most regions of the ocean inhospitable to coral reefs by 2050, if atmospheric CO2 levels continue to increase, the declaration warns.
This reef collapse could lead to substantial changes in commercial fish stocks, threatening food security for millions of people as well as the multi-billion dollar fishing industry.
Prince Albert II of Monaco today urged political leaders to take notice of the declaration ahead of negotiations at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen at the end of the year.
"I strongly support this declaration," said the prince, whose environmental foundation provided support for the symposium. "I hope the declaration will be heard by all the political leaders meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009."
"The questions are now how bad will it be and how soon will it happen," said symposium chair James Orr of the Monaco-based UN Marine Environment Laboratories, a division of the the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The international community has been developing a global observing system for ocean carbon, using ships, buoys, and satellites to understand how the ocean absorbs atmospheric CO2.
The ocean absorbs a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere from human activities. Observations from the last 25 years show increasing acidity in surface seawater, following trends in increasing atmospheric CO2.
"The Monaco Declaration is a clear statement from this expert group of marine scientists that ocean acidification is happening fast and highlights the critical importance of documenting associated changes to marine life," says Professor Sybil Seitzinger, executive director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, one of the sponsors of the symposium.
Dead zones across the world's oceans would expand by a factor of 10 or more if global warming continues unchecked, the Danish team warned, based on newly developed climate models that project 100,000 years into the future.
"Such expansion would lead to increased frequency and severity of fish and shellfish mortality events, for example off the west coasts of the continents like off Oregon and Chile," said Professor Gary Shaffer of the University of Copenhagen, leader of the research team at the Danish Center for Earth System Science, with scientists from the Danish Meteorological Institute and the National Space Institute.
"If, as in many climate model simulations, the overturning circulation of the ocean would greatly weaken in response to global warming," explained Shaffer, "these oxygen minimum zones would expand much more still and invade the deep ocean."