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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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