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The Other CO2 Problem

Although seawater is alkaline, this process causes the pH of seawater to lower and the acidity of seawater
to INCREASE, hence the term Ocean Acidification.

In the last 250 years the average pH of the surface ocean has fallen from 8.2 to 8.1

 – a change of 0.1 units.

A change of 0.1 doesn’t seem like a lot, but since the pH scale is logarithmic, this means that the ocean has become 30% more acidic.

It is predicted that if nothing is done to significantly reduce our CO2 emissions, by the end of this century the pH level of the ocean could drop another .45 units – reflecting a 75% increase in acidity.

Those Hydrogen ions don’t just increase seawaters' acidity, they also attach themselves to carbonate ions. As more and more hydrogen ions attach to carbonate ions, it prevents marine life from absorbing a mineral called calcium carbonate into their bodies.

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