Ocean Acidification is a direct result of the skyrocketing carbon dioxide emmisions released through the burning of fossil fuels, motor vehicles emmissions, and through other sources. The carbon dioxide accumulates and is dispersed throughout the atmosphere. Eventually, it reaches bodies of water, where is reacts with the water and forms carbonic acid. Over time, the carbonic acid gathers and causes the ph of the water to decrease, increasing the acidity level. The water then becomes corrosive and starts to deteriorate the shells of crustaceans and shellfish such as crabs, lobsters, oysters, and mussels. This drastically decreases the quality and quantity of seafood and harms the fishing, restaurant, and tourism industries, daily recreation activities, and the overall economy surrounding the body of water.
In collaboration with the Institute for Systems Biology, the OAEP has developed high school curriculum centered on ocean acidification. Titled "Ocean Acidification: A Systems Approach to a Global Problem," the curriculum module can be accessed by clicking here. Below is a diagram for a visual guide of the ocean acidification cycle.
Although ocean acidification has not received significant media attention, there are a few resources that may be found around the web. Below are some websites, videos, and documents explaining the ocean acidification crisis.
The Natural Resources Defense Council strives to protect the envrionment, and specializes in natural resources. This website explains the causes and effects of Ocean Acidification thoroughly.
This is a short but informative documentary that delves into the causes and effects of ocean acidification. It also features interviews with leading experts and professors.
Ocean-Acidification.net is a website created by scientists,
and gives a straight scientific analysis of ocean acidification, and
includes many graphs and diagrams to help explain.
This video by ABC News
provides a news report on
ocean acidification, and
includes video clips
and images that give key
visuals to how carbon dioxide
is affecting the ocean.
Click here to view a graph explaining the cycle of ocean acidification in the Puget Sound.