The Negative Effects Of Ocean Acidification

713 Words 3 Pages
Ocean acidification plays an important role in how healthy the oceans ecosystems are because it allows some species to increase, but also has several negative effects that could cause species to become extinct. Ocean acidification occurs as the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the air which then causes the ocean 's pH level to decrease. As the ocean 's acid levels increase, it can affect marine life by helping organisms who make energy by combining sunlight and carbon dioxide, but hurts the chemical communication, impact, and growth of many organisms by increasing the pH. Overall, the increase in carbon dioxide is bringing severe consequences to our environment and needs people who are willing to make a difference by monitoring their carbon …show more content…
When carbon dioxide is released by burning coal, oil, or gas, it does not just disappear, but instead, a large portion, around 30 percent, of it actually dissolves into the ocean at an alarming rate of 22 million tons per day. And, the more carbon dioxide that is put into the atmosphere, the more that is absorbed by the ocean. In some aspects, it is great that the ocean absorbs so much of the atmosphere 's carbon dioxide because if it did not, the earth 's atmosphere would be much warmer than it is today. It is incredibly important that we study the increase in carbon dioxide because even though carbon dioxide plays a crucial role in warming our planet, an excess of it leads to the planet becoming too warm and can have major consequences on the ocean. When the ocean absorbs the carbon dioxide, the pH of the oceans decreases, causing the oceans to become more and more acidic, creating a dangerous habitat for many marine organisms. When the carbon dioxide is absorbed, chemical reactions occur and carbonic acid is formed from the water molecules and the carbon dioxide. Hydrogen ions will then be released from the carbonic acid, and the more hydrogen ions in the water, the more acidic it will …show more content…
The chemical reactions that marine and non-marine life depend on can be wildly sensitive to the smallest of changes in pH. The rise in acidity can affect everything from corals and oysters to humans blood pressure. It can affect the growth, reproduction, and safety mechanisms of marine life. One significant example of this is the effect excess carbon can have on zooplankton. Although zooplankton are a small part of the ocean, they end up feeding most aquatic mammals bigger than them. A variety of experiments show that higher levels of acidity result in dissolving zooplankton 's shells. This could lead to zooplankton living in tropical areas to become extinct by the end of the century, which would result in a food shortage for many of the ocean 's largest creatures. In the Southern Ocean, the shells of pteropods are already dissolving, due to the rising acidity of the water in the Southern Ocean. If ocean acidification continues to occur, marine organisms will continue to experience harm due to the rise in acidity of the ocean and risk

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