The Effect Of Global Warming On The Ocean ' Essay

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Chemistry A.S.91389 Chemical Process

‘Effect of Global Warming on the Ocean’

Jessica Smith


Although there is currently no way of accurately measuring such a value, scientists estimate that every day, 79 million tonnes of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere (2). And this rate is expected to grow if we do not change our ways (3). But why is this a problem? Well, they also estimate that our oceans absorb between a quarter and a third of the excess anthropogenic (human generated) CO2 from the atmosphere (2,3,4), making it the Earth’s largest “carbon sink” (5). This Greenhouse Gas is mainly produced by deforestation (reducing the number of trees in a particular location able to convert CO2 into O2 through photosynthesis) and the burning of fossil fuels (3,6).

Between present day and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the concentration of CO2 dissolved in our oceans has risen by more than 30% (1). This is because nature wants to exist in equilibrium (2), so our oceans are absorbing CO2 until the concentration of the molecule is the same or similar to that of the air around it. Since the amount of carbon dioxide in the air is increasing, the amount absorbed into the sea is increasing as well. Experts say that if the levels of CO2 continue to increase at a similar rate, the end of the century will sea the ocean 150% more acidic than pre-Industrial Revolution (2,7). These rates have not been seen in more than 20 million years (2,7).

Once the
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