Ocean acidification refers to the ongoing consistent decrease in the pH of the Ocean water. When CO2 dissolved in the Ocean water, it creates Carbonic Acid (H2CO3) and increases the Hydrogen Ion (H+) concentration in the ocean.
- The Ocean acidification has fastened only after the Industrialization.
- Pre-Industrialization pH of the ocean water was 8.179.
- In the 20th century, it came down to 8.1074, which corresponds to an increase of H+ ions by 19%.
- At present the pH of the Ocean water is 8.069 and this corresponds to an increase of 28.8% in the H+ Ions since Industrialization of the 18th century.
Impacts of Oceanic Acidification
- The absorption of the CO2 by the world’s Oceans helps in mitigating the climatic effects of Carbon Dioxide emissions. But the decrease in the pH will give negative impact to the oceanic organisms such as the Calcifying animals.
- The result will be seen in the Ocean ecosystem and food chains.
- The organisms such as corals, echinoderms, crustaceans and mollusks will be severely affected. This is because the falling pH makes the oceans under saturated with the CaCO3, and the result is that rate of dissolution of calcareous material would increase.
The decreased pH may also lead to the hypercapnia in the ocean biota. Hypercapnia refers to the CO2 induced acidification of body fluids, which may lead to adverse effects.