Al Gore once said, “CO2 is the exhaling breath of our civilization,” this quote is completely accurate human civilization resolves around the production, consumption, use of entities that contain CO2. Due to our extreme use of CO2 based products we are causing a rapid spike in the CO2 levels in the atmosphere, the Mauna Loa CO2 records indicate CO2 levels has risen from 315ppm in 1960 to 403ppm in 2016 and it is still rising (noaa). This drastic increase of this toxic gas is that it is damaging the world, as we know it. The most talked about consequence of this is climate change, but the other “equally evil twin” is ocean acidification. This effect of this excessive amount of CO2 being released into our atmosphere is the decrease of pH levels of the oceans due to the increase uptake of CO2. The lowering pH level is due to the combination of CO2 and H2O combining and form carbonic acid, which is an acid. This acidification of the oceans is already wreaking havoc on the oceanic ecosystems and the effects will be more devastating in the future.
Ocean acidification is impacting sea life and the biology of the ocean as well as ecologically impacting them as well. The biology from fish to plants are all being affected by this ongoing phenomenon. One of the species that is feeling the impacts already are corals. Corals are made from calcium carbonate and the increase acid in the water dissolves material resulting in limited coral growth and weakening the preexisting corals so that they are more vulnerable erosion from storms and waves (Hoegh-Guldberg). This CO2 increase is also the main cause of coral bleaching, because the algae that live on the corals and give the corals their color die off from the their inabil...
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...t right now it is unrealistic to think it will have no consequence.
Ocean acidification is an important issue not only for the sake of a few fish, but for its great effects on entire ecosystems. Though this problem is not obvious to the general public it is already having dramatic effects, especially on the calcium carbon dependent organisms. Even though there are a multitude of research studies going on about the problems associated with the lowering pH of the oceans, the public needs to take action too. The best ways people can help do their part is to reduce their carbon emissions especially from cars by taking public transportation and carpooling; recycling; reusing materials instead on constantly buy new products. These little things all though may not seem significant will actually help reduce our carbon footprint and slow the process of ocean acidification.
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