Breaking boundaries – ocean acidification

Date: 23 February 2023

Time: 15:00


Since pre-industrial times, surface ocean acidity has already risen by 30%. Beyond a certain concentration, this increasing acidity hinders the growth and survival of organisms like corals, some shellfish, and plankton species. The loss of these species would alter the dynamics and organization of ocean ecosystems and might even result in a sharp decline in fish stocks. A rich ocean is crucial, as billions of humans depend on it for daily life. What are the possibilities for change? 


  • Get to know how ocean acidification is induced by humans 
  • Find out what the tipping points are for this boundary 
  • Learn about the impact of ocean acidification for different regions 

The oceans eventually dissolve about a quarter of the CO2 that humans release into the atmosphere. Here, it turns into carbonic acid, changing the chemistry of the ocean and bringing the pH of the surface water down. Ocean acidification has implications for the entire planet, in contrast to the majority of other human impacts on the marine environment, which are frequently local in scope. Since atmospheric CO2 concentration is the fundamental controlling factor for both the climate and ocean acidification boundaries, it is also an illustration of how connected the boundaries are. 

Campus Groningen, 7 February 2023. More information.

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