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Ocean Acidification: Starting with the Science

Ocean Acidification: Starting with the Science

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Published by earthandlife
Excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—in addition to contributing to climate change—is absorbed by the ocean, making sea water more acidic and leading to a suite of changes in ocean chemistry. Preliminary evidence suggests ocean acidification will have negative effects on corals, shellfish, and other marine life, with wide-ranging consequences for ecosystems, fisheries, and tourism. This report, requested by Congress, reviews the current state of knowledge and identifies gaps in understanding, and provides scientific advice to help guide the national ocean acidification research program.
Excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—in addition to contributing to climate change—is absorbed by the ocean, making sea water more acidic and leading to a suite of changes in ocean chemistry. Preliminary evidence suggests ocean acidification will have negative effects on corals, shellfish, and other marine life, with wide-ranging consequences for ecosystems, fisheries, and tourism. This report, requested by Congress, reviews the current state of knowledge and identifies gaps in understanding, and provides scientific advice to help guide the national ocean acidification research program.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: earthandlife on Apr 27, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

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02/19/2014

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Starting with the Science
OCEAN ACIDIFICATION
 
CONTENTS
Introduction 1The Carbon Cycle 2-3Evidence of Excess Carbon Dioxide 4-5The Chemistry of Ocean Acidification 6Biological Processes Affected by Ocean  Acidification 7Effects on Shellfish, Corals, and Other Calcifiers 8-9Potential Impacts on Ecosystems 10-13How will Changing Ecosystems Impact People? 14-15Where Do We Go From Here? 16
 
 
Covering more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, the ocean is one of planet Earth’s most distinguishing characteristics. Over recent decades, a range of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels is increasing the amount of carbon dioxide gas emitted to the atmosphere—and the amount that dissolves into the ocean. Now, so much carbon dioxide has been absorbed by the ocean that the chemistry of seawater is changing, causing the ocean to become more acidic.Based on the latest science, this booklet describes the well-understood chemistry of ocean acidification and explores the many questions that remain: How will ocean acidification impact marine life such as fish, corals, and shellfish? How will the effects on individual species scale up to whole ecosystems? What will ocean acidification mean for aquaculture, the fishing industry, and coastal tourism?

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