Climate Change : Ocean Acidification

1736 Words Dec 1st, 2016 7 Pages
Climate change is quickly affecting many social and economic sectors, both directly and indirectly. This is particularly true within the natural habitat sector, as varying impacts on global biodiversity threaten the existence of many species world-wide. While many problems such as warmer temperatures and rising sea levels are attributed to increasing carbon dioxide (CO2), there is one crucial problem that is often overlooked: Ocean acidification. As pH levels in the ocean fluctuate, there are devastating effects on sensitive marine ecosystems and individual species. Increased acidic conditions can pose threats to habitats, such as coral reefs and sea grasses (Guinotte and Fabry 320). These living habitats rely on calcium carbonate to form strong external structures, yet higher pH levels inhibit the organisms’ ability to successfully absorb the compounds needed for this process. Additionally, higher levels of ocean acidification can induce decreases in skeletal-forming compounds, diminishing entire populations of small ocean organisms such as crustaceans and phytoplankton (Doney). Therefore, it can be deduced that the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere cripple the marine wildlife ecosystems, because the addition of greenhouse gases, caused primarily by anthropogenic conditions, are acidifying the ocean and disrupting the bio-chemical compounds that are necessary for many marine species to survive. When CO¬2 is released into the atmosphere, the forests and oceans…
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