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Causes And Effects Of Anthropogenic Ecosystems

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Anthropogenic activity has affected a large number of ecosystems in the world including the earth’s oceans. Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have been escalating since the rise of the industrial revolution and are now at a far more prominent rate than previously experienced in the Earth's history primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (Wood et al., 2008). The concentration of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere now surpasses 380 parts per million (ppm), which is more than 80 ppm over the highest values of the past 740,000 years (Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2007). As a result, the oceans have absorbed approximately 25% to 30% of the CO2 in the atmosphere acting as carbon sinks and decreasing the rate of CO2 rise in the atmosphere, which has had a direct effect on the ocean’s chemistry (Logan, 2010). This results in the most prominent phenomena known as ocean acidification, which worsens day-to-day as CO2 enters the oceans at a more noteworthy rate than ever before, diminishing the ocean's natural buffering capacity and lowering the pH (Wood et al., 2008). This is documented to have a significant threat to marine species. As CO2 enters the ocean and comes in contact with the water, it reacts and changes the chemical properties of the ocean itself (Wood et al., 2008). This process produces carbonic acid that breaks down into bicarbonate, carbonate, and hydrogen ions that increase the acidity. The ocean’s pH commonly ranges between 7.8 and 8.2, yet, recent studies show that
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