Laboratory experiment investigating the impact of ocean acidification on calcareous organisms

The increase in ocean acidity since preindustrial times may have deleterious consequences for marine organisms, particularly those with calcareous structures. We present a laboratory experiment to investigate this impact with general, introductory, environmental, and nonmajors chemistry students. For simplicity and homogeneity, calcite was substituted for calcareous organisms and placed in buffer solutions of variable acidity. After 30 min, students quantified the percent mass loss of calcite in their buffer. Individual student data was then pooled into a class spreadsheet for further analysis. This experiment could enable a class discussion on ocean acidification supplemented with primary and secondary literature.

Perera A. P. & Bopegedera A. M. R. P., in press. Laboratory experiment investigating the impact of ocean acidification on calcareous organisms. Journal of Chemical Education. Article (subscription required).


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