Effects Of Ocean Acidification

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Earth is covered in approximately 71% water, 97% off all Earth’s water is found in oceans which provide for life on earth. Oceans are important because they provide over half of all oxygen in the atmosphere, but also absorb large amounts of gasses from the atmosphere. Unfortunately oceans are under the constant threat of not just overfishing or pollution, but mainly acidification which damages delicate ecosystems greatly. Ocean acidification is caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, either created by human emissions, or by natural causes. When carbon dioxide dissolves into water it can react with water molecules to form carbonic acid (H2CO3). It is the carbonic acid that reacts with the environment directly or the water …show more content…
The increase in ocean acidification affects humans because of coral degradation. When coal dies or is damaged, the animal populations that rely upon reefs can become vastly affected. Fish, for example, are largely reliant upon coral, some eat it and others like the clownfish live within it. When coral reefs suffer, so do populations of marine organisms, and by extension, human that able to feed themselves, and make a living off of fishing. Ocean.si.edu estimates that roughly 1-7 humans rely upon food caught from the ocean, and with a dwindling fishing industry, many humans could go without food. In addition, many coastal regions which are home to fishing industries would face an economic downturn from the loss of major fish, and seafood populations. Seafood is also a major part of many cultures and coastal regions that have built livelihoods off of commercial fishing may soon die …show more content…
While it is easy to assume that carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere just rises up into the atmosphere, the truth of the matter is that the oceans absorb and trap a large quantity of these emissions. The most direct method of lowering acidification of Earth’s oceans is to cut the level of human carbon dioxide emissions related to both automobile and industrial activities. There is a difficulty, however, with trying to reduce existing carbon dioxide emissions. The nations of the world in large still rely heavily upon fossil fuels. China, for example, and its growing population are a major contributor of carbon emissions. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, professionals also suggest geoengineering of Earth’s atmosphere. Geoengineering of the atmosphere would include finding ways to lower the amount of carbon dioxide, such as growing larger populations of organisms like phytoplankton which use up carbon dioxide. Some professions have proposed the idea of dumping fertilizers into Earth’s oceans to encourage algal blooms artificially in hopes that the algae will use up vast amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans. Overall these suggestions show little signs of being able to reverse the damage done to Earth’s oceans, and fail to provide the oceans with protection from future carbon emissions. The best way to

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