Ocean Acidification is in response to my growing concern for our ocean, the health of which is integral to maintaining a balance that supports all life on Earth. Referred to as ‘climate change’s evil twin’, ocean acidification remains, for the time being, on the fringe of the environmental discourse.
Through my interpretation of the scientific evidence I am attempting to bring out of the shadows and make tangible, what is an evolving and abstract environmental issue.
The ocean absorbs approximately 26% of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year from human activities. When carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, carbonic acid (H CO ) is formed and it is this chemical reaction which alters the pH of the water, leading to ocean acidification.
Current science indicates that with just a slight rise in acidity, many marine organisms will suffer inhibited growth due to the reduction in available carbonates needed for calcification and their existing skeletons will weaken, as they slowly dissolve.
This will contribute to a loss of biodiversity which could cascade through the marine food web, upon which millions of humans are reliant and entire economies are based.
Ocean acidity has increased by approximately 30%, since pre-industrial times and until we can find ways to drastically reduce global carbon dioxide emissions, levels will continue to rise.