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Ocean Acidification Chemistry
Transcript of Ocean Acidification Chemistry
Aragonite and Calcite are two "forms" of calcium carbonate
The Chemistry of Saturation
Scale of 0-14
Neutral pH of 7
Acids: pH 0-7
Bases: pH 7-14
Stronger acids have lower pH
pH value is actually an exponent of power of 10
Every pH unit change = 10x increase in hydrogen ion concentration
Ocean surface drop in 0.1 pH units = 30% increase in acidity
Predicting future states of the ocean
The impact of atmospheric carbon on ocean carbon chemistry
Hydrogen ions "compete" with calcium
Growth below 3 is unlikely
Saturation states < 4 become suboptimal for growth of calcifiers
Calcium and Ksp are constants
Saturation state becomes proportional to the availability of carbonate ions
Many marine organisms (including hard corals) rely on this mineral to construct their shells and skeletons
Scanning electron micrograph of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi.
Calcium and carbonate ions are found dissolved in seawater
Lower pH means higher
Saturation is when the solution can hold no more
Supersaturation is when you push beyond saturation
Dependent on the properties of the solute (Ksp) and properties of the environment (ex. temperature, pressure)
Saturation state of aragonite
in the world's oceans
Studying future conditions
Volcanic carbon dioxide vents show ecosystem effects of ocean acidification
Dissolution below 2