Ocean Acidification and Its Effect on Climate Change Essay

Ocean Acidification and Its Effect on Climate Change Essay

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Ocean acidification is one of the highest environmental concerns that involve the change in climate. Ocean acidification is caused by uptake of rising atmospheric CO2. This increase in CO2 is from burning fossil fuels. Not only does it affect humans it affects numerous marine ecosystems. Coral reefs are one of the most affected systems by ocean acidification. Coral is one of the main ecosystem engineers in these ecosystems without them; the ecosystem will not be as healthy or sustainable for other organisms. The species richness and evenness will decrease tremendously due to this. Corals help set the structure for the ecosystem so fish can use it for protection against predators. This structure allows many organisms to come in and make it there home, because of the thriving biodiversity that there is in these ecosystems. This CO2 driven ocean acidification leads to reduction in calcification and has potential impact on calcifiers. Calcification is the process where coral produce calcium carbonate. This decrease in calcium carbonate would lead to loss of reefs because the construction rates would fall bellow natural destruction rates. Echinoderms are vital in a marine environment and are present in almost every ecosystem. They are vital ecosystem engineers as well. Adult Echinoderms are more tolerant to ocean acidification then larvae.

In this review I will discuss how coral reefs modify the chemistry to deal with the advancement. 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...


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...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. I believe Kurihara’s work and findings is the most important because it shows the most direct impacts of ocean acidification on organisms and that this is a problem that needs to dealt with now before it gets worst and completely destroys the coral reefs and marine ecosystem. Seawater pH is expected to rise worldwide and many species will have very little chance to avoid these acidic conditions. These species will have to either have to adapt to this change or disappear due to extinction.

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