What´s Ocean Acidification? Essay

What´s Ocean Acidification? Essay

Length: 1307 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Introduction
The oceans of the earth are a massive part of the natural cycles that make this planet habitable. They regulate global temperatures, absorb carbon dioxide, provide a home for millions of plants and animals that make up various levels of the food chain, and so much more. They are a resource given for us to use and benefit from, however, it is also a resource that needs to be protected. It is the fountain of life for the planet and drastic changes to the makeup of the oceans could be detrimental to life as we know it. Ocean acidification is a problem which has come to light in the last decade, but is becoming increasingly concerning to many scientists (1). In this essay I will attempt to direct your attention to some of the possible and observed impacts of global ocean acidification, present some of the likely causes and suggest possible solutions to the problem. The essay will also deal with the possibility that the evidence can be interpreted differently in order to not implicate humans as the primary cause responsible for the observed destruction occurring in the acidified waters.
Defining Ocean Acidification
Ocean acidification is when carbon dioxide is absorbed into the water of the oceans. This causes a chain of chemical reactions leading to the formation of carbonic acid in the water. (2) Furthermore, many animals in the oceans use calcium carbonate ions to build their shells, however, in the process of forming carbonic acid, these ions are destroyed creating a deficiency in calcium carbonate and preventing these animals from forming their life sustaining and protective shells. (1) The reaction occurs when carbon dioxide, which is heavier than air, sinks in large clouds over the oceans and is absorbed into th...


... middle of paper ...


...gain recognition both by environmental organizations and governments, but also by individuals who need to be aware of the impact their actions and energy usages. Whether it be a new form of energy or an old one refined, continued research and work needs to be done to ensure that we are being good stewards of the earth we have been given to live on.


Works Cited

http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/What+is+Ocean+Acidification%3F
http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/critical-issues-ocean-acidification/
One Ocean documentary
http://oceanacidification.noaa.gov/WhatsNew.aspx
http://www.pnas.org.libaccess.lib.mcmaster.ca/content/105/45/17442.full
http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/deadzone.html
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/noaa-scientists-embark-voyage-asses-ocean-acidification/
http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/content/68/6/1019.abstract

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Climate Change : Ocean Acidification

- With carbon dioxide levels continuing to rise over the past few decades (fig. 1) and now into the future, concern has been brought to what is happening to the carbonate chemistry of the oceans. Because of these changes in chemistry, the ocean is becoming more acidic. Along with climate change, ocean acidification may be one of the greatest threats to our planet. The higher the ocean’s acidity level goes, the lower the calcium carbonate levels will drop. Even though this is a big scale issue, my goal is to focus on and underline what these changes will mean for the marine life that depend on the calcium carbonate in seawater....   [tags: Carbon dioxide, PH, Ocean, Carbon]

Better Essays
928 words (2.7 pages)

What´s Ocean Acidification? Essay

- Introduction The oceans of the earth are a massive part of the natural cycles that make this planet habitable. They regulate global temperatures, absorb carbon dioxide, provide a home for millions of plants and animals that make up various levels of the food chain, and so much more. They are a resource given for us to use and benefit from, however, it is also a resource that needs to be protected. It is the fountain of life for the planet and drastic changes to the makeup of the oceans could be detrimental to life as we know it....   [tags: Impacts, Causes, Solutions, Ocean]

Better Essays
1307 words (3.7 pages)

The Sea of Change: An Increase in Ocean Acidification Essay

- The ocean is the largest ecosystem on the planet, it covers 70% of the Earth’s surface and accounts for approximately 91% of all water found on the planet. Because of it’s large and staggering appearance, it is frequently misinterpreted to be a stable and resilient environment unaffected by humans. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The ocean is not only dynamic and sensitive, but it is also severely impacted by our lifestyle choices. Ocean acidification, which refers to the reduction of pH levels in the ocean is caused by an uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.(NOAA) Ocean acidification alters the ocean’s chemical makeup creating a slightly more acidic pH level; this process ha...   [tags: ocean, ph level, carbon emission, water]

Better Essays
1320 words (3.8 pages)

Global Warming And Ocean Acidification Essay

- Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in 1760, global fossil fuel usage has increased from 3.8 billion tonnes of oil to 11.7 billion tonnes of oil in 2007. These fossil fuels include petroleum and coal. Many years the world has only focused on the benefits of using nonrenewable resources. These fossil fuels were in great abundance therefore it would be easy to obtain and around for many generations. They were also highly affordable and could be used to power everything from cars to planes....   [tags: Carbon dioxide, Greenhouse gas, Biofuel, Petroleum]

Better Essays
1078 words (3.1 pages)

Ramifications of Ocean Acidification Essay

- Ocean acidification is an increasing problem that many people do not realize or understand. Ocean acidification is a result of excessive amounts of anthropogenic carbon dioxide dissolving in the ocean. The carbon cycle helps dissolve carbon dioxide into ocean water for photosynthetic sea creatures, however, too much goes in and not enough comes out. The excess carbon dioxide reacts with the water to form carbonic acid, which is a weak acid (Ocean Carbon Uptake). Carbonic acid has such an unstable bond that it loses a proton and decomposes into two bicarbonate anions and a hydrogen cation....   [tags: environmental issues]

Better Essays
1234 words (3.5 pages)

What's Causing Ocean Acidification? Essay

- Ocean acidification is defined as “…the perturbation to the ocean carbonate system directly caused by ocean uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the atmosphere.” (Turley) Overtime, our oceans have become more acidic due to rapidly evolving technology and a growing dependence on fossil fuel. In fact, our “oceans have become 26% more acidic since the start of the Industrial Revolution.” (Cullinane) Unfortunately, this acidity continues to rise and “…the pH of surface oceans…is projected to drop another 0.3–0.4 pH units by the end of this century, [which] has not occurred for more than 20 million years of Earth's history.” (Guinotte) Why our oceans today so acidic and what...   [tags: fossil fuel, ph levels, industrial revolution]

Better Essays
1024 words (2.9 pages)

Ocean Acidification Essays

- One very critical, damaging environmental problem caused by society and technology is known as ocean acidification or “OA” for short. When carbon dioxide is absorbed by seawater, chemical reactions occur that reduce seawater pH, carbonate ion concentration, and saturation states of biologically important calcium minerals. Referred to by scientists as “The other carbon problem” (the first being Global Warming), ocean acidification are these chemical reactions. In other words, ocean acidification is caused when ocean water absorbs carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which then causes a reduction in seawater pH and other dreadful effects on the sea....   [tags: environmental issues, damages, pollution]

Better Essays
907 words (2.6 pages)

Ocean Acidification Essay

- 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....   [tags: carbonic acid, pH, sea, chemicals, acidity]

Better Essays
1102 words (3.1 pages)

Ocean Acidification : A General Cause Of Ancient Reef Crises Essay

- Marine Mission Mrs. Blakely Fuzzy Sheetz March 16, 2016 Ocean Acidification According to the article “On the potential for ocean acidification to be a general cause of ancient reef crises,” “In conjunction with climate change, ocean acidification (OA) is perhaps the most severe threat to marine ecosystems acting at global scales…” (Kiessling & Simpson, 2011). Ocean acidification has increased exponentially, since the Industrial Revolution, and has been a key contributor to an approximate 0.74 degrees celsius rise in global temperature over the past 100 years....   [tags: Carbon dioxide, PH, Oxygen, Ocean]

Better Essays
1367 words (3.9 pages)

Ocean Acidification Essay

- 1. The Keeling curve is a measurement of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in a certain region or space. From this graph it is apparent that carbon dioxide concentrations have gradually increased over 60 ppm (parts per million) in a time span of 50 years. The Keeling curve measurements are substantial because they are able to gradually show the increase of carbon dioxide concentrations although they marginally fluctuate with the seasons due to the interchange of respiration and photosynthesis....   [tags: atmospheric carbon dioxide, oceanic ecosystem]

Better Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)