Ocean Acidification

In addition to climate change, another concern about increasing atmospheric CO2 is its potential impact on the chemistry of the world’s oceans. Higher CO2 concentrations cause ocean waters to become more acidic. In a more acidic ocean, calcium carbonate, the foundation of the shells and skeletons of many aquatic organisms, starts to dissolve.

In the past 5-10 years, scientists have begun to demonstrate changes in ocean chemistry and to observe the impacts of chemical changes on marine plants and animals. To better understand this phenomenon, let’s briefly look at the global carbon cycle and the carbonate system of seawater.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book

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