The effects of pollution and plastics have caused and will continue to cause a major problem for the ocean’s wellbeing and health: in regards to the ocean pH levels changing, acidification's effect on the oceans, and the improvements to plastic management in the past decade.
By observing ocean life, the effects of ocean acidification show likely risks for sea life. A species that demonstrates the possible signs of damage from ocean acidification are Pteropods.
Due to the thin soluble shells of Pteropods, they have been used to foretell the possible effects of ocean acidification (Orr, et. al. 1).
Research tells that anthropogenic acidification may change the mortality rates for pteropod larvae and a decrease in size of the creatures over time (Gazeau 2207).
In another study done by Comeau, it was reported that the shells of the larvae of the Pteropods seem to have less of a shell when exposed to high CO2 levels. (Siebel 5).
Ocean acidification has the ability to affect the growth of sea life shells due to the decrease of density of carbonate ions. These shelled creatures are an important part of the ocean ecosystem due to the structures they create, water purification, and they are also food for predators. (Gazeau 2207).
Coral reefs are also being observed and evaluated for ocean acidification and effects of plastics.
Water acidification, from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere being absorbed into the oceans, is one of the reasons creating difficulties in the
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Not only does this increase in ocean acidity result in shell degradation, but it has also been shown to breakdown existing coral reefs, as well as limit the building of new coral reef structures all over the planet. Corals, like calcifying species, rely on a steady supply of calcium carbonate in order to build and maintain it 's strong structures. This preventable destruction would not only be breaking down some of the most ancient ecosystems, but also some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. Occupying less than one percent of the ocean floor, coral reefs are home to more than twenty-five percent of marine life. Thanks to their diversity, coral reefs provide millions of people with food, medicine, protection from storms, and revenue from fishing and
G., Cong-Qiang, L., WeiDong, Z., Minella, M., Vione, D., Kunshan, G., & ... Hiroshi, S. (2016). Reviews and Syntheses: Ocean acidification and its potential impacts on marine ecosystems. Biogeosciences, 13(6), 1767. doi:10.5194/bg-13-1767-2016
Not all phytoplankton taxa are expected to respond the same to ocean acidification. Some taxa respond negatively to ocean acidification. The coupling of atmospheric CO2 with ocean carbonate affects carbonate secreting and calcifying marine organisms (Hannisdal 2012). The haptophyta and myzozoa
The map above shows a depiction of aragonite saturation, a form of calcium carbonate that many marine species also rely on to build their protective shells. It is anticipated that a high volume of species relying on carbonate ions to form outer layers and exoskeletons will be negatively affected by the changing chemistry of seawater. Even a slight drop in pH levels will mean higher concentrations of hydrogen ions will be available to bond with carbonate ions, forming more bicarbonate than normal. Marine calcifying species are this put at a higher risk for predation. Ocean researchers and marine biologists are hopeful that some marine species that calcify for survival will be able to adapt to the changing pH levels in the oceans. Others are not so optimistic, and expect that an acidic oceanic environment may result in mass extinction and serious disruptions to aquatic food chains.
About half of that man-made CO2 has been absorbed by the oceans, increasing the concentration of carbonic acid, which has caused the oceans to become more acidic. Over the past 300 million years, ocean pH has averaged about 8.2. Today, it is around 8.1, a 25% increase in acidity over the past two centuries. That increase is projected to reach 150% by the end of this century, a rate of change not seen in 65 million years. A more acidic ocean inhibits shell growth in marine animals such as corals, crustaceans and mollusks, and disrupts entire food chains all the
Background Information – I decided to conduct this laboratory experiment, because I lived in Beaufort, SC. There is a beach in Beaufort and as a child I would pick up shells on the seashore. My family always went to the beach growing up, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a good vacation spot and a place for people to have fun. Seeing the sea life is a part of the experience when going to the beach. The increasing ocean acidification is worrying, because it harms sea life that have calcium carbonate shells. One day the shells will be dull in color and brittle, because the calcium carbonate has been eroded by acidic water. Anthropogenic emissions that are released into
Ocean acidification is the decrease in the acidity levels of the Earth 's oceans, caused by the intake of carbon dioxide emitted in to the environment and atmosphere. Since the industrial revolution, fossil fuel-powered machines have increased human technology and advancement. However, this has caused the emissions, large amounts of carbon dioxide, deforestation, and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Ocean acidification, in turn, has created a benefit to us by slowing down climate change by absorbing the emissions in the water that have remained in the air. However, studies are now starting to show that the massive amounts of carbon dioxide in the water bodies are altering the water chemistry and affecting the biodiversity and life cycles of many marine organisms, especially those at the lower end of the food chain. Other organisms living off the food chain would be part of a symbiotic relationship involving nutrient cycling: where all other organisms are feeding off of the larger one, yet are providing some benefit to the overall host.
Ocean acidification has numerous causes, but there are even more effects than there are causes. The many effects have an impact on not only marine animals but humans too. Some of these effects include issues associated with coral reefs, organisms under the sea, and human businesses. This problem that seems to be a simple issue is an important source of loss of sea creatures and income. This is the main reason that we need to control ocean acidification.The effects of ocean acidification both above and below the ocean’s surface are detrimental to the environment.
With acidification being in the water the weaker shells for these organisms, increasing the chance of being crushed or eaten. The major impacts go beyond just weaker shells. Mussels cling to rocks but with acid in the water they can't hold on as well. Oysters fail to grow their shells, and without their shell they can’t feed. Sea urchins have already adapted to the higher acidity. Crustaceans grow even stronger shells under higher acidity. Reason being is because their shells are constructed
Our Oceans are a vital bloodline carrying humans, water, and different types of animals and plants. Now more than ever our oceans are in peril due to the disastrous effects of Ocean Acidification. According to, NOAA Director Dr. Jane Lubchenco (2016), “Ocean Acidification is often referred to as global warming’s equally evil twin” (The Osprey pg.1). Ocean Acidification is an issue that the general public knows very little about yet is just as dangerous. Our Oceans are like a gigantic beaker with a mix of different solutions but because of ocean acidification this might disturb the balance for the planet. According to, Ludwig of The Science Teacher (2015), “OA is a harmful consequence of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and poses a threat to marine life” (p.42). The high amount of carbon dioxide creates a toxic environment for sea life. As a society, it is our duty to help restore our oceans and prevent the dangerous possibility of massive sea loss, economic downfall, and coral bleaching.
Ocean acidification, the process by which the pH of seawater decreases which if it decreases far enough can potentially negatively affect a number of ocean based species. The effects have been studies across a number of species and at least for the Mytilus edulis or blue mussel species, Fitzer et al. discovered that the an increase pH led to the Mytilus edulis developing rounder and thinner shells thus making them more likely to experience cracks and breaking in their shells from all sorts of natural phenomena which puts their lives in danger (Fitzer et al.). So for another mussel species is has been found that increased pH can lead to negative effects on the shell production of the shells. Yet it is also important to look at how ocean acidification
Ocean acidification is a big problem in society but hasn’t been given the recognition needed. Before the industrial era began, the average pH at the ocean surface was estimated at 8.2 (slightly basic; 7.0 is neutral). In 2013 the average pH level was 8.1. Although the change may seem insignificant, similar natural shifts have taken 5,000 to 10,000 years but because of societal development this change occurred between 50 to 80 years. It was hypothesised that by the lowering the PH level of the experiment water it will have a decomposing effect on the organisms (shells).Three shells were placed in separate beakers with different levels of pH and were tested for the changes of mass (intervals of 2 to 3 days). Sample 2 of the experiment showed
Although ocean acidification is affecting the entire world’s oceans, a noticeable effect it is causing would be the major effect it is having on oyster farms in Oregon and Washington. Since about 2006 up to 80% of oyster larvae have started to die-off (Grossman). The young oyster are very vulnerable to their environmental conditions during the first few days of their lives because this is when the oysters are developing the most. Therefore the inability for these oyster to develop is a sign that there is a big change in the oceans conditions. When the pH level of the ocean becomes too low, the young oysters’ shells start to break apart and oyster larvae start to die, this causes hatcheries to be left with nothing to distribute. Not only is
et al. 2014). Shell dissolution due to ocean acidification has been observed in several species of pteropods (Johnson K.M. et al 2016; Bednaršek N. et al 2014; Busch D.S. et al. 2014). Lischka S. et al (2012) reported that the aragonite saturation state <0.3 resulted in the reduced survival rate in pteropods. Along with survival, growth and a biochemical functions impairment also reported due the negative effect of ocean acidification (Lischka S. et al. 2011; Hoshijima U. et al 2017).
The world we live in is so vast and exciting. Seventy percent of our world is liquid water we call the ocean. In the ocean there are many creatures that each are unique in their own way. However, it is possible that in our lifetime, many marine organisms will become endangered or possibly extinct. The loss of these mejestic marine creatures will be caused mainly because of human advancements in which fossil fuels are used to produce energy. Biodiversity is greatly affected by this increase in acidity. As the ocean acidifies, multiple social and economic issues arise. As humans, we rely on the ocean for almost everything. Much of our food, clothing, cleaning products and cosmetics come from the ocean. With the loss of