What’s ocean acidification?

What’s ocean acidification? Watch our video for a fast overview.

For greater than 200 years, or for the reason that industrial revolution, the focus of carbon dioxide (CO2) within the ambiance has elevated as a result of burning of fossil fuels and land use change. The ocean absorbs about 30 p.c of the CO2 that’s launched within the ambiance, and as ranges of atmospheric CO2 enhance, so do the degrees within the ocean.

When CO2 is absorbed by seawater, a collection of chemical reactions happen ensuing within the elevated focus of hydrogen ions. This enhance causes the seawater to turn into extra acidic and causes carbonate ions to be comparatively much less plentiful.

Carbonate ions are an necessary constructing block of buildings similar to sea shells and coral skeletons. Decreases in carbonate ions could make constructing and sustaining shells and different calcium carbonate buildings troublesome for calcifying organisms similar to oysters, clams, sea urchins, shallow water corals, deep sea corals, and calcareous plankton.

These modifications in ocean chemistry can have an effect on the conduct of non-calcifying organisms as properly. Sure fish’s skill to detect predators is decreased in additional acidic waters. When these organisms are in danger, all the meals net can also be in danger.

Ocean acidification is affecting all the world’s oceans, together with coastal estuaries and waterways. Many economies are depending on fish and shellfish and folks worldwide depend on meals from the ocean as their main supply of protein.