Ocean Acidification

This issue has the potential to damage many sensitive Ocean Habitats around the world.

What Is The Problem

Ocean waters are becoming more and more acidified, which causes the shells of marine species like corals, sea urchins, oysters, clams, and some plankton to break down. Many marine organisms eat these calcifying species and so a disturbance in their populations can throw off the entire food chain.

Why Is This A Problem

The atmosphere continually exchanges molecules with the ocean surface. The increased CO2 in our atmosphere means that more CO2 is being absorbed into our oceans, which lowers the pH of the ocean, causing breakdown of the calcium carbonate that makes the shells of many organisms.

Who Is Responsible For The Issue

We are all responsible for ocean acidification because the energy that we use on a daily basis, whether it be turning on the light, using the microwave, or driving our cars, causes the release of hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere a day.

When Did This Become An Issue

 The pH of the ocean has been monitored for decades for scientific study, but scientists voiced concern about a serious change in ocean acidification in 2009 when the IAP issued a statement about the need to address the issue.

How Do We Solve It

Countries around the world must switch from coal burning energy to alternative energy like solar and wind power. However, there is enough CO2 in our atmosphere at this point to continue climate change and ocean acidification for hundreds of years into the future. Therefore, efforts need to concentrate on sequestering CO2, or taking it out of our atmosphere and putting it into the earth.

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