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Don't Miss This Reality TV

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Reality TV has been trendy for a decade now. American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, The Amazing Race.  But tonight, there’s a new type of reality program on that’s a must-watch.

The Climate Reality Project kicks off, online, at 7 pm Central, live from Boulder, Colorado. From there, the show will travel around the world for 24 consecutive hours, stopping in every time zone for a multimedia presentation about climate change, each from a professional on its frontlines. They’ll highlight local and regional examples of our planet’s greatest challenge, but the Project “is guided by one simple truth: The climate crisis is real and we know how to solve it.”

From Boulder, the camera will head to Victoria, British Columbia, and it will continue to chase the sun, in different cities and languages, back to New York City, a day later, at 7 pm Eastern. There, Nobel Laureate and Former Vice President Al Gore, the Project’s founder, will give the final presentation on the Big Apple’s own challenges: “How do you get such a big, diverse and densely populated city ready for climate change? That’s what planners in New York are grappling with as they come to grips with preparing the city for sea level rise.”

But sea level rise, due to escalating temperatures and ice melt, isn’t the only impact our emissions are having on the world’s oceans. At least a quarter of the CO2 we send into the atmosphere is absorbed by our oceans, which is rapidly changing their chemistry. Called “ocean acidification,” the effect is climate change’s lesser known, but equally evil twin. It’s Earth’s other CO2 disaster. Not sure what it is, exactly? Check out NRDC’s short movie ACID TEST -- it’s narrated by Sigourney Weaver and is must-watch TV, also.

When CO2 mixes into the ocean, it forms carbonic acid, and since the industrial era began 150 years ago, the oceans’ acidity has increased by a daunting 30 percent. Researchers predict that if carbon emissions continue at their current rate, ocean acidity will more than double by 2100.This acidification poses serious danger to many sea creatures -- to coral reefs and crabs, to mollusks and plankton -- since, by the laws of basic chemistry, it reduces the availability of carbonate, which they use to build their shells. At a certain level of acidity, in fact, these shells will start to dissolve, to wash away.

The acidification of our oceans is the hidden side of the world’s carbon crisis and reinforces the need to make changes in how we fuel our world -- and to do it quickly.

So let’s tune in tonight. “24 Hours of Reality will focus the world’s attention on the full truth, scope, scale and impact of the climate crisis,” says Al Gore. Watch at http://climaterealityproject.org/, and tell a friend about ocean acidification.

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