Ocean acidification a the process in which anthropogenic carbon dioxide is dissolved in the ocean to a point where it creates a dilute solution of carbonic acid. Although, dilute the solution does cause the ocean to become more acidic. The ocean is referred to as a “carbon sink” because almost a third of manmade carbon carbon dioxide has been dissolved in the ocean. The carbonic acid decomposes and creates a hydrogen ion and a bicarbonate ion. The bicarbonate ion in the case of corals impedes the process of calcification. Calcification is the process in which corals release calcium carbonate. Corals are basically large deposits of solid calcium carbonate that are a result of calcification. Carbonic acid in the ocean causes calcium carbonate deposits to dissolve and produce an two bicarbonate ions which impedes calcification for small algaes and planktons. Ocean acidification is not only a problem that needs to be dealt with, but can theoretically be reversed.
The average pH of the ocean before ocean acidification was prevalent was around 8.2. However, today the ocean’s pH is at about 8.1 which is an increase in acidity of 30% (Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory). Simply adding a base would most likely work, but would be economically improbable. The amount of base that would have to add would be more than that of the dissolved carbon dioxide. It is an unethical solution, but it is also a very promising solution to the problem. The only problem with adding a base to the ocean is that the creatures of the ocean might not be able to adapt to the newly added chemicals. Adding a base might find a solution to the problem of increasing acidification, but it might also cause other problems.
A weak base that is recommended by most a...
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