The ocean is the largest ecosystem on the planet, it covers 70% of the Earth’s surface and accounts for approximately 91% of all water found on the planet. Because of it’s large and staggering appearance, it is frequently misinterpreted to be a stable and resilient environment unaffected by humans. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The ocean is not only dynamic and sensitive, but it is also severely impacted by our lifestyle choices. Ocean acidification, which refers to the reduction of pH levels in the ocean is caused by an uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.(NOAA) Ocean acidification alters the ocean’s chemical makeup creating a slightly more acidic pH level; this process has very severe consequences for not only ocean
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Mankind’s reliance on fossil fuels as a primary source of energy is swiftly changing almost all of the Earth’s natural environments and processes. It is causing fluctuations in both atmospheric temperatures and in the ocean’s chemical makeup. Eventually these potentially threatening changes will force mankind to simply adapt, or perish.
Many individuals may wonder how scientists can effectively project the future of our oceans despite no historical recordings of ocean acidification. Scientists have found a real life petri dish of seawater conditions similar to what scientists predict the ocean to be like by the year 2050.(The Ocean’s Death March) The location is Castello Aragonese, a tiny island found in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Underneath the island there are large bubbling volcanic vents emitting very large quantities of CO2 , this quirk of geology gives scientists a window 50 years into the future exactly where carbon dioxide levels are projected to be. The effects of such high concentrations of CO2 are noticeable throughout the islands immediate surroundings. The ocean surrounding this area is essentially dead except for some seagrass and jellyfish, which have shown to have very few adverse effects when exposed to high concentrations of carbon. Scientists and