Atmospheric carbon dioxide and changing ocean chemistry

They call it life, we call it pollution” is an infamous quote which ignores many facts about why carbon dioxide (CO2) poses a significant problem for the ocean. But before we get to this, let’s start at the beginning. All organisms on Earth require a particular set of elements for growth. In the case of plants, these elements are needed to synthesise organic matter in a process called primary production via photosynthesis, and in the case of animals, these elements are directly assimilated by either consuming plant material or by preying on other animals. In this respect, one of the key elements is carbon. Being the molecular backbone for a number of vital organic compounds such as sugars, proteins and nucleic acids (containing genetic information), carbon can be considered as the building block of life.

Schulz K. G. & Maher D. T., 2023. Atmospheric carbon dioxide and changing ocean chemistry. In: Reichelt-Brushett A. (Ed.), Marine pollution – monitoring, management and mitigation, pp. 247–259. Springer Cham. Book chapter.

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