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Acidification of the ocean

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Acidification of the ocean

 

acidificacion

 

ARTICLE TABLE OF CONTENTS
How carbon dioxide harms the ocean
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Videos about the acidification of ocean

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How carbon dioxide harms the ocean

The keel curve is one of the most durable and useful tools of climatology. It is a graph that has followed seasonal and annual changes in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) from 1958 at the Observatory Mauna Loa in Hawaii. The curve shows that the average concentrations increased from about 316 portions per million by the volume (ppmv) of the dry air in 1959 to approximately 370 ppmv by 2000 and to 390 ppmv by 2010. Today the concentrations of CO2 float to 410 ppmv, a 30% increase since 1959 and an increase of 49% of 1750, the time just before the start of the Industrial Revolution (when the concentrations of CO2 were probably as low as 275 ppmv).

 

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Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, i.e. it absorbs more and more infrared radiation (thermal energy) as its concentration increases within an air volume, and the air temperature will also increase, but at a much slower rate. As a result, it has been blamed on the growing emissions of carbon dioxide from industry, transport, and other sources of the fact that air temperatures around the world have increased. However, this greenhouse gas also plays an important role in the oceans because it is easily absorbed by seawater.

With regard to the global battle against global warming, the presence of a huge oceanic "carbon sink" that pulls the excess carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere can be a good thing, as temperatures might not rise as fast as they would another way. However, the addition of carbon dioxide to seawater initiates a chemical reaction that reduces the pH of seawater, which makes the seawater more acidic. This condition is called oceanic acidification and has implications for the survival of marine life. Scientists have estimated that the average pH of seawater decreased from 8.19 to 8.05 between 1750 and today, corresponding to a 30 percent increase in acidity.

Marine Calciferous — i.e., shellfish (shrimp, oysters, clams, etc.) and coral — secrete their shells, skeletons and other structures by filtering calcium carbonate out of the water. Acid sea water reduces the number of carbonate ions available in seawater, which means that these organisms have a smaller and smaller pool of raw materials to extract as the pH of seawater continues to decrease. Scientists have shown that even under early 21st century conditions (PH = 8.05) Many marine calciferous do not grow so fast, which could make them more vulnerable to predators. In addition, scientists have shown that some species of pteropods (tiny molluscs that serve as food for krill and whales) are dissolved substantially after only six weeks in such high-acid environments.

For 2100, if atmospheric CO2 concentrations amounted to up to 750 ppmv, the pH of seawater could fall between 7.8 and 7.9, which would likely produce dramatic disruptions in the marine food chains. Under these conditions, scientists fear that populations of pteropods and unicellular organisms such as foraminifera and Cocolítidos would decrease, forcing fish and other predators to take advantage of these tiny organisms to change to new Food sources. Beyond such serious ecological effects, larger bodies of animals like squid and fish could be directly threatened by acidification of the Ocean as acidosis (a condition by which carbonic acid concentrations increase in Bodily fluids) could create problems with your breathing, growth, and reproduction.

 

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