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Ocean acidification has been a problem since the Industrial Revolution, and has become a much larger problem more recently. There are a few things people must first understand before we start getting serious into finding solutions for ocean acidification.
- Increase our knowledge
Before we start getting serious about finding solutions for ocean acidification, more people need to learn about it and how harmful it is to the ecosystem and the problems it is causing. Since more than 70% of earth is covered in oceans, ocean acidification will become a big problem once it swings into full effect. That is why it is important for people to learn more about ocean acidification so that we can expand the range of things we can do to solve it.
- Reducing our carbon footprints
One thing people can do to help is reduce their carbon footprints, because by doing so, the amount of CO2 taken in by the oceans will decrease, which can slow down the affects of ocean acidification already taking place. According to C40 Cities Global Leadership Program, “Altering or stopping ocean acidification on human-relevant time-scales will ultimately depend upon reducing net CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.” (2012) The program was formed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in cities, since over 70% of CO2 emissions are produced within the city limits. They are still working to make their goal a reality, and one thing they say would help is if everyone tried to reduce their carbon footprint, because everything counts towards reducing our carbon footprints, helping reduce CO2 emissions.
- Everyone has a part
Everyone can do something about this issue, whether it be donating to a research facility or simply recycling, you can have an effect on our environment. Some simple but fun excersice can be found in riding a bike or walking/jogging with friends. Doing something as simple as this can help reduce CO2 emissions, which is good because it can stop the growth of global climate disruptions just like ocean acidification.
There are very few things we and others can do to prepare for the impact of Ocean Acidification. Here are the few things you can do to be ready for anything it does.
1. Adapting to using less resources and recycling them.
Because of the loss of resources from ocean acidification we will ave to adapt to using less and recycling more. For this to be effective, society needs to start conserving now. The longer we wait, the more our resources will be used up and the less chance there is
2. Improving our understanding of Ocean Acidificaion. Ocean Acidification is no small problem and the word needs to be spread about how serious it really is. This could be through a news broadcast, newapapers, and as simple as just talking about it with your peers.
3. Foundations are launching a global competition for the development of effective and affordable pH sensors to profoundly improve our knowledge of ocean chemistry and the understanding of the global effects of ocean acidification. If the pH levels in our oceans get any lower they will officially become acidic and if humans understand more about pH this will help keep the pH levels in our oceans stable so the underwater ecosystems as well as our economy stay strong.
4. Significant improvement in technology can help scientists begin to answer critical questions about our oceans. This is the twenty-first century and with the technology we have, scientists can use that to implement new ideas on how to improve our oceans pH levels. If we can build rockets and airplanes, we can create something to balance out pH levels.
5. Everyone has a part in improving this situation and every bit helps. If you can do the basic stuff like recycle, ride your bike, and support small businesses, you are doing your part in improving our oceans.
Oceans absorb a large portion of the carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere. This is can potentially cause our atmosphere to be affected as well. Ocean acidification is causing the ocean to be less concentrated for biogenic sulfur which will increase the amount of solar energy. The Nature Climate Change predicts this will speed up the warming of Earth which will affect the polar caps. As it affects the polar caps, it will also cause the oceans to rise.
The growing economy is having more and more issues each day. Ocean acidity is contributing to those issues. The acidic oceans are changing our ecosystem by affecting our resources and income. Our government is spending more money to fix this global climate disruption, which is costing our government more money that we do not have. As acidic levels increase in the oceans, our resources are dying off due to the poisoned water. Our economy relies on most of the food industries that process and deliver our foods according to Bruce Steele of Science 360. Jobs such as fisheries and food plants have been used to clean and produce our food. The organisms that are now affected by the carbonic acid are not suitable for them to use anymore, so the sources that are high in demand are becoming more limited. This issue is causing more people part of the food industries to lose their jobs. Not only does it affect the food industries but it affects the commercial fishing, shell-fishing, tourism, leisure and recreation which will cost the economy more than $1 trillion dollars to fix reported by U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity. Hopefully we will find a solution to this world problem.
Marine ecosystems are being effected drastically by acidic oceans. The food webs that were established are getting destroyed as many species can’t survive in their habitat and die off. For example there is a tiny animal in the ocean called pteropods. These animals serve as food for some of the oceans top predators, and since they are dying off this will affect the marine life massively because the food web will be destroyed and populations will fluctuate causing an uneven number of predators and prey. Other animals that produce shells or exoskeletons can’t produce them anymore and won’t be able to defend themselves from predators because of the acid. Animals that do important things in the ocean like urchins that help restore coral reefs are beginning to die off. Without coral reefs, many marine animals won’t be able to find protection for themselves and be vulnerable to predators. Another example is squids, squids require high oxygen levels and with the acidity in the water, the squids can’t always get enough oxygen and it messes with their blood flow. Squids are one of the oldest animals that live in the oceans and if they can’t survive, that’s one of the most unique animals gone. The changes are happening to quickly for these animals to adapt to. If the pH levels don’t start balancing out soon, there will be no life in the ocean and our Earth will be 70% water and there will still be oceans but those oceans will be without life.
In this model we can see a factory emitting carbon gasses. The burning of the fossil fuels produces a gas called carbon dioxide which is released into the atmosphere. The oceans absorb about 26% of this gas to achieve equilibrium and this is causing the oceans pH levels to change. Carbon dioxide (CO2) combined with water (H2O) changes the composition of the water, causing H2CO3 which is carbonic acid (National Resource Council). This acid is causing the ocean ecosystems to change with it. This carbonic acid is changing an animals way of making shells. There are animals known as cephalopods that have external shells and the carbonic acid has an effect on them like radiation has on humans, they can’t make their shells properly and without them, they can’t protect themselves.