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Ocean Acidification


How do we know? NASA's FAQs - Audio Introduction to Killer Oceans

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"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)

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Carbon dioxide and ocean acidification
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 viatal ocean life?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) easily dissolves in the global ocean by converting into carbonic acid (H2CO3). Carbonic acid then creates a 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 then 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. Forrests absorb about 25%. And the rest remains in the atmosphere until it mixs 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 powerful 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 again rise as fall and winter slow photosynthesis by green plants. Each year its atmospheric density increases. Oceans then aborb 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 more dense in Earth's atmospehere?



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