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Ocean Acidification

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by

Cory Cinelli

on 23 April 2010

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Transcript of Ocean Acidification

Double click anywhere & add an idea Chemical Equation CO2 + H2O <=> H2CO3 The reactants are CO2 and H2O The product is H2CO3 There is a catalyst here, CO2 is changing the PH of the ocean water. A catalyst is something that accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected. What is happening... CO2, or carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean water and makes it more acidic. This equation is balanced I know this equation is balanced because there are the same number of each atom on both sides of the equation OCEAN ACIDIFICATION It is necessary to balance this equation because otherwise it would be unstable What I found... I found that oceans have become acidic enough that calcium from soils have dissolved, and dripstone formations have been left in caves when it evaporates. I also found that shellfish, such as crabs and molluscs, are taking the acidic oceans especially hard, because it cuts the availability of calcium carbonate (chalk) - which coral reefs, clams, molluscs and some plankton use to produce their hard skeletons. Basically, many of these animals protection against predators is their hard shells, since acidic water cuts their calcium carbonate, it is difficult for their shells to become strong enough to protect them. Based on this, ocean acidification could distort many marine food webs. This research showed me that something that not many people know is happening, could end up altering many peoples lives. With a decrease in the amount of shellfish, other populations of marine life will also take a population hit. US Livermore National Laboratory, predicts that the release of carbon dioxide during the next several centuries will increase ocean acidity more rapidly than during the past 300 million years. Hopefully ocean acidification will be dealt with soon, otheriwise marine life as we know it may cease to exist. This all relates to the real world because the status of marine life, largley effects the status of our lives. If fish and shellfish populations were to plummet a large portion of the worlds food supply would be gone. Ocean acidification is occuring due to green house gases, carbon dioxide in particular. When carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere it dissolves into oceans and raises their PH balance Research Question Who or what does ocean acidification hurt?
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