Think Globally - - Act Locally
"You can argue with the amount of climate change or about the weather, but you cannot argue about ocean acidification." Dr. Katharine Hayhoe (See Global Weirding for more)
The global ocean serves as a carbon dioxide sink. The question becomes, how much longer will the oceans serve as a carbon dioxide sink before ocean acidification destroys vital ocean life?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) easily dissolves in the global ocean by converting into carbonic acid (H2CO3). Carbonic acid then creates more ascetic water, a killer environment for ocean life. As a result, we say that the pH level of the ocean water becomes lower on the pH scale. (See the image of the pH scale if you are new to this idea.)
Again, the lower ocean water drops on the pH scale, the more ascetic, acid, it becomes. The higher ocean water climbs on the pH scale, the more alkaline it becomes.
As ocean water becomes more acidic, it kills sea life by destroying calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate helps sea life grow their skeletons and shells. Naturally, surface ocean water tends toward the alkaline side of the pH scale, 7.5 to 8.5 pH. Ocean life adapts to this level of alkaline side, then; the acid side stresses sea life. Sea animals shells and skeletons break and dissolve. These animals are at the bottom of the food chain. Animals higher on the food chain, they lose their food source while they too live in a more acidic ocean.
Earth's global ocean absorbs about 25% of CO2 emitted by human beings. Forests absorb about 25%. And the rest remains in the atmosphere until it mixes with the oceans. This means that at present, atmospheric carbon dioxide density increases at about 2 ppm (ppm) per year. This may not seem like much, but keep in mind that CO2 is a potent greenhouse gas and reached 420 ppm this year, 2019. It will again decrease during spring and summer because of increased photosynthesis in the forest. Then, it will still rise as fall and winter slow photosynthesis by green plants. Each year its atmospheric density increases. Oceans then absorb more CO2 and it becomes carbonic acid (H2CO3), and the ocean biology suffers in an acidic stew.
What's happening to your world as carbon dioxide becomes denser in Earth's atmosphere?
Our invasion of the atmosphere with fossil fuel emitted carbon dioxide (CO2) results in a change of ocean chemistry. As the global oceans chemistry changes, its ability to hold more CO2 decreases. And when CO2 dissolves in seawater, it reacts with a molecule called carbonate ion, a charged molecule. A bicarbonate chemical ion results. It cannot evaporate, but CO2 does evaporate into the atmosphere.
As bicarbonate in ocean water, CO2 hides, then. This enables ocean waters to hold more CO2. We call this type of chemical system a "buffer." Ocean water in contact with the air eventually runs out of seal three. As a result, ocean water loses its power to absorb CO2. This all takes place over a couple centuries. Consider, though, that humanity began dumping measurable amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere over 200 years ago. So we might expect the oceans to reach the limits of CO2 absorption.
Eventually, extra fossil fuel CO2 in the atmosphere will chemically react with Ignatius rocks and CaCO3, Calcium, Carbon, Oxygen.
These reactions work to restore atmospheric CO2 concentration to its natural setpoint, stabilization.
Now with the global ocean more heavily polluted CO2 since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we might expect CO2 absorption to slow. As CO2 invades the global ocean, the chemistries of the global ocean change, which means the uptake of carbon dioxide must flow. Once the global ocean can no longer inhale2, fossil fuel CO2 must remain in the atmosphere, and it will stay for thousands of years into the future. It can be no other way because Ignatius rock absorption of CO2 occurs over hundreds and thousands of years. There's simply no other way to get it out of the atmosphere, short a technological miracle. Hence, the title of this website, "killer oceans."
Neutralize the acidification of the ocean created by the human emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we would need to find some way to add CaCO3, limestone, to neutralize ocean acidification. The oceans would then absorb more atmospheric carbon dioxide, which in turn would lead to an increase in ocean acidification. In short, a neutralize killer ocean can hold more CO2.
Ocean acid invitation affects shell producing ocean creditors like shellfish and other organisms with CaCO3 structures. The carbon dioxide causes Calcium Carbonate to destabilize. Also, evidence tells us that carbonate is the creators possibly become extinct as a result of emotional certification.
Coral reefs produce calcium carbonate as their structures grow. Adding carbon dioxide to the oceans and ocean acidification thereby slows the production of coral reefs. Coral reefs suffer the slings and arrows time in natural disk production as a fact of life; adding another threat to their existence like carbon dioxide does little good for future generations of ocean creditors and humanity. Between critters born into coral reefs in search of food and waves, storms, and human activity, a picture of reefs is in question. The question becomes, "will coral reefs survive slowing reproduction amid increasing threats from humanity"?
Temperature also affects coral reefs. As ocean waters rise in temperature, they pass thresholds at which symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae survived. The LDR's photosynthesis organisms help to see coral creditors. This is where "coral bleaching" occurs. Once the threshold water temperatures are surpassed, the zooxanthellae are expelled in the coral bleaches color loss, the color of the expelled zooxanthellae.
On a good day, however, different species may arrive on the scene to replace the evicted zooxanthellae. But this is the best case scenario. Leaching itself is a "desperate remedy" and of last resort for the reefs. Coral reefs rely on the clarity of water columns to enable photosynthesis by algae to occur. With increased water temperature higher quantities of suspended algae groundwater as they feed on dissolved nutrients common to warming waters. Of course, the threats from agricultural fertilizer runoff enhances plankton growth along with the erosion of soils to cloud coral reef waters. Waters become more turbid then.
Archer, David. The Long Thaw (Princeton Science Library) (p. 119). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.