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OCEAN ACIDITY. Morgan Rosenberg and Eliana Manangon. http://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect16/Sect16_2.html. Ocean Acidification. Approximately 93 percent of the CO  2  is found in the oceans.  Marine plants and animals play a role in the uptake and release of carbon dioxide in the ocean.

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OCEAN ACIDITY

Morgan Rosenberg and ElianaManangon

ocean acidification
Ocean Acidification
  • Approximately 93 percent of the CO 2 is found in the oceans. 
  • Marine plants and animals play a role in the uptake and release of carbon dioxide in the ocean.
  • Plants, primarily phytoplankton but also macrophytes such as this seaweed, take up carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which oxygen-dependent animals need to survive.
  • In the 1980s, the oceans removed an estimated 2.0±0.6 pgof anthropogenic CO 2 each year. Because humans are producing CO 2 at an ever increasing rate, the average ocean removal rate increased to 2.4±0.5 pgof carbon each year in the 1990s
changes in ocean acidity
Changes in Ocean Acidity
  • Directly related to increased CO2 in atmosphere
    • About ¼ of the CO2 in the atmosphere goes into the ocean
  • Ocean acidity has increased by 30% since the Industrial Revolution
    • pH from 8.179 to 8.069 in about 250 years
  • pH estimated to drop another 0.3 to 0.5 by 2100
  • Environmental and economic concerns:
    • Organisms with calcium carbonate shells, such as microscopic plankton, corals, and shellfish dissolve
    • Corals lose calcification rates
    • Countries dependent on marine organisms face economic problems
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