An introduction to Ocean Acidification

Hi, my name is Laura  and I am one of the authors of this student developed blog aimed at those interested in learning a little more about the environment that takes up 2/3 of our planet and more specifically biodiversity. I am currently studying Ocean science and Marine Conservation and so have a genuine and deep rooted interest in all that encompasses biodiversity. As I have some background in this topic I wanted to challenge myself and look into something that I had not focused on before, therefore I will be researching and writing mostly about ocean acidification and the human impacts that surround it, but will touch on other topics throughout the blog also.

Ocean acidification is described by NOAA as ‘A reduction in the pH of the ocean over an extended period of time, caused primarily by uptake of carbon dioxide CO2) from the atmosphere.’ (NOAA, 2012)

A number of different locations are known to be affected by ocean acidification; one of the most well known being the Great Barrier Reef off the East coast of Australia. Different species such as coral reefs, sea urchins, shellfish and other species of animal that are calcifying are found here and are directly impacted by these changes in pH and CO2 uptake (R. Ageev, 2015).

Great Barrier Reef – living coral

Human impacts on biodiversity due to ocean acidification are linked to climate change and occur on a daily basis. The process by which we as humans produced excess CO2 such as travel emissions, air miles, the burning of fossil fuels and other methods causes the oceans to take up the CO2 produced as oceans are currently the biggest carbon sinks on the planet. This then causes the pH of the waters to decrease making them more acidic and affecting and damaging the marine organisms in the local and wider environments.

Dead coral fragments from a coral reef

Currently we know that there are a number of research projects going on and around Ocean Acidification from organisations such as NOAA to different Universities worldwide.

Related references and links to this post:

Ageev, R. (2015) How will ocean acidification impact marine life? – 2015. Available at: (Accessed: 3 February 2017).

Oceanic, N. and Administration, A. (2012) What is ocean Acidification? Available at: (Accessed: 7 February 2017).

– Laura


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