The more acidic conditions affect many of the sea creatures in various ways. Calcification, the process which results in the formation of calcium carbonate structures in marine organisms is interrupted by ocean acidification. Ocean acidification shifts the equilibrium of carbonate chemistry in seawater, decreasing the rate and amount of calcification among a wide range of marine organisms, meaning their skeletons will not be formed properly. This can cause the organisms to become weak and decrease their chances of survival. Extinction of certain species is a real threat as past research has shown extinction rates dramatically increase as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase.
How the algal abundance will increase due to this ocean acidification and may lead to improved conditions of calcification. What causes CO2 from this source and how exactly it gets into the water, as well as how this leads to reduction in calcium carbonate and the potential for calcifiers and other orga... ... middle of paper ... ...t for echinoderms but for other species that feed on them or species they feed on. The species richness will go down along with the diversity of that ecosystem. This will change the entire food web that coral reefs and other ecosystems use today. Some key predators may be too abundant or there may not be enough predators having a top down and bottom up effect on the trophic system.
While it affects all environments, it has an extreme effect on coastal environments and estuarine environments since these environments rely heavily on chemical concentrations and pH balances. The pH balances have decreased majorly over the recent years since the industrial revolution because of increased partial pressure of carbon dioxide released into our environment and into the oceans. Because of this, ocean pH balance has now reached a record low for the past two million years. The high amount of carbon dioxide is increasing the levels of calcium carbonate, which is altering the performance of calcifiers and other marine organisms like the algal community. Lastly, the decreased pH balance in the seawater is causing high metal pollution, which also affects marine organisms(Ivanina & Sokolova, 2015).
Heavy metal contamination is a growing issue as well. Mercury levels in certain seafood species, especially in tuna, are currently above average and even some places around the world have tried to warn the people from consuming it. Ocean pollution can overpower marines’ life, and alter food web dynamics. It can also endanger human health and result in great economic loss for fisheries, tourism workers and others. There are many different ways in which people can get sick from ocean pollution.
This absorption has been beneficial in keeping that 30% out of the atmosphere, where it causes Climate Change, but it has a negative impact on water quality. When carbon dioxide reacts with water, it forms carbonic acid. In the oceans, carbonic acid releases hydrogen ions which increase the acidity of the water. Because of human action, the acidity of the ocean has risen 30% since pre-industrial times and by 2050 ocean acidity is projected to be the highest in 20 million years (Harrould-Kolieb and Herr 379). This carbon dioxide influx is threatening marine life.
The remaining carbon usually gets absorbed by the oceans. 90 percent of the effects of global warming are attributed to rising temperatures and heat. This heat tends to affect our oceans due to the ... ... middle of paper ... ...and production is thought to be one of the leading causes of this pollutant in the atmosphere. Taller smoke stacks on factories manage to carry the pollution farther away from nearby populations, but in doing this they also manage to carry the pollutants to a much wider range. The chemicals can be carried high and far into the atmosphere and can be deposited in areas far from the initial source of the pollution.
Even though the study of the deterioration of pteropods in high acidity water may seem unimportant in the grand scheme of the ocean, it is crucial to start somewhere. In this case the pteropods happen to be one of the most obvious examples of marine life that will be influenced by the ocean acidification. It is without a doubt clear that ocean acidification is an up and coming problem that will change the chemistry of the ocean and not only the effect the ocean’s ecosystem and creatures, but most likely the rest of the environment as well. Even though there is copious amounts of research available concerning ocean acidification, it is unclear whether model predictions will come to fruition in the future, or if actual results will completely differ from projections. Currently, the only clear path to try to delay the progression of ocean acidification is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions exponentially.
So, more CO32- are required to neutralise the H+ ions in the buffer reaction to resist the change in pH, thus resulting in a decrease in concentration of the CO32- ions in the oceans! A large proportion of the H+ ions are neutralised by this reaction, but some remain dissolved in water. As the H+ ions experience a large proportional increase, so does the quantity of the small proportion ions that stay dissolved in water, hence increasing the concentration of the H+ ions in the water. pH is a logarithm scale that measures the concentration of the H+ ions in a body and it’s defined as: –log[H+]. So, as the concentration of the H+ ions that stay dissolved in the
Although the ocean does help with the reduction of climate change by storing 1/3 of the carbon dioxide that humans put into the air by the burning of fossil fuels, the increasing levels of carbon in the ocean are changing the chemistry of sea water and making it more acidic. Why Does it Matter? Changes in the ocean temperatures, currents and acidity levels brought on by climate change will lead to alterations in the ocean and climate patterns around the world. For example, warmer waters may cause the development of strong tropic storms, which can lead to property damage and loss of life. The Changes in ocean systems generally take place over much longer time periods than the atmosphere.
3.0 Background Information 3.1 Rising CO2 Levels and Ocean Acidification Ocean acidification is caused due to rising CO2 emissions created by industrial development and greenhouse gases. This increase in carbon dioxide causes changes within the ocean’s biochemistry. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are expected to rise from pre-industrial level of 280 to 540-970 ppm by the year 2100, depending on future emission scenarios (IPCC, 2001). Eventually the oceans will become highly acidic if mankind is unable to control their CO2 emissions. About 30% of CO2 emissions are taken up by the oceans today (Freely et al.