Congressional Research Service report on ocean acidification

With increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the extent of effects on the ocean and marine resources is an increasing concern. One aspect of this issue is the potential for seawater to become less alkaline (i.e., ocean acidification) as more CO2 dissolves in seawater, causing hydrogen ion concentration in seawater to increase. Scientists are concerned that increasing hydrogen ion concentration could result in reduced growth or even death of shell-forming animals (e.g., corals, molluscs, and certain planktonic organisms) as well as disruption of marine food webs and reproductive physiology. Congress is beginning to focus attention on better understanding ocean acidification and determining how it might be addressed.



opencrs, 20 February 2009. Report summary.

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