Mathis, Jeremy T. Ocean Acidification Research Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska.
Show previous versions
- The CO2 problem
- Why is the ocean more acidic?
- What are the effects of a more acidic ocean?
- Ocean acidification effects and outlook
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The decrease in the pH of the ocean over time, as carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere is absorbed by and dissolves in seawater. Since the Industrial Revolution, rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and increased absorption of CO2 by the oceans have created an unprecedented ocean acidification (OA) phenomenon that is altering pH levels and threatening a number of marine ecosystems (Fig. 1). Although the average oceanic pH can vary on interglacial time scales, the changes are usually of the order of about 0.002 unit per 100 years; however, the current observed rate of change is about 0.1 unit per 100 years, or roughly 50 times faster. Even more disconcerting, regional factors such as coastal upwelling, changes in riverine and glacial discharge rates, and loss of sea ice have created OA “hotspots” where changes are occurring at even faster rates. See also: Acid and base; Carbon dioxide; Glaciology; Marine ecology; pH; Sea ice; Upwelling
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 39 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information