Effects of Ocean Acidification

by jelllybeans on October 6, 2017 - 8:16pm

 What is Ocean Acidification?

Global warming is a term that most individuals are vaguely familiar with. However, the effects, and the rate that global warming is increasing, as well as how much It endangers the environment is not something that a large majority are aware of. For instance, due to global warming and the rapid increase of carbon emissions, the acidification of the ocean is dropping at an alarming rate.

Issue of Ocean Acidification

In the article “Ocean Acidification”, the author is trying to inform how the actions of industrialization from individuals have been increasing the pH levels of the oceans drastically. As a result, many species and ecosystems are being jeopardized as they are not able to adapt to these changes fast enough resulting in many species being put into danger such as, inhibiting the growth of shells, disorders in fish, endangering species such as coral reefs and many more. The author discusses how the result from human actions of pursing industrialization has been offsetting the balance of life in the oceans due to the large amount of carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere. The ocean absorbs a third of the human made carbon emissions, resulting in the change in pH level. As the ocean becomes more acidic, many habitats that reside in the oceans are being jeopardized due to the rapid changes occurring, not being able to adapt to the new environmental circumstances resulting in environmental degradation.

Why should we care?

“Since the oceans covers at least 70% of the earth’s surface, any changes that imbalances it, the more consequences the environment overall will face” (Abbasi & Abbasi, 2011, p. 1601). It is important for individuals such as states, government, and many other actors to try and enforce change in the methods of industrialization to reduce carbon emissions and reduce the acidification in the oceans. The article “Ocean Acidification” only states what the issues of carbon emissions have and how its affecting the ocean, but it does not address how individuals in particular the state, can enforce change and manage it. The ocean is considered as an essential natural resource that many individuals heavily rely on such as food, transportation, services and many more (“Ocean Resources”, Blue Planet Oceans and Society).

What can we do?

The bodies of individuals that live on this planet should work together to sustain the ocean before the ecosystems and species become extinct or endangered. In the past, the mass extinction that occurred in the Permian-Triassic boundary 252 million years ago was believed to be from the result of a small change in ocean acidification. Many scientists believe that the big change in ocean pH level today will result in many more environmental degradation and extinction based off history” (Clarkson et al., 2015, p. 229). Therefore, change must occur and new bodies of individuals should focus on ocean management. Furthermore, the state can enforce ocean management since resource management is not simply what the state does, but what identifies what a state is. If states are too help manage the ocean and slow down the rate of ocean acidification through policies, the state can gain a lot more such as income, provide more job opportunities, cultivate an identity that pertains only to them, create a common pool of resources, and sustain the environment as well, which is benefitting to all actors involved.


In conclusion, the oceans absorb a large majority of all the carbon emissions that human individuals have created. The consequence of industrialization is that the living organisms and ecosystems that live within the oceans are being jeopardized due to ocean acidification. As the ocean becomes more acidic, the living organisms are not able to adapt as quickly as the changes occur resulting in species extinction, and environmental degradation. Therefore, individuals such as states who have a lot of power has a large responsibility to do what they can to reduce and manage the carbon emissions into the atmosphere to sustain as well as manage the ocean. The ocean is an important natural resource that we all rely on heavily. Thus, it is important for us and the states to try to manage it as the best that we can.  


Works Cited

Abbasi, T., & Abbasi, S. A. (2011). Ocean Acidification: The Newest Threat to the Global Environment. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 41(18), 1601-1663. Retrieved October 6, 2017, from http://www.tandfonline.com.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/doi/full/10.1080/10643389.2010.481579?scroll=top&needAccess=true

Clarkson, M. O., Kasemann, S. A., Wood, R. A., Lenton, T. M., Daines, S. J., Richoz, S., . . . Tipper, E. T. (2015). Ocean acidification and the Permo-Triassic mass extinction. Science, 348(6231), 229-232. Retrieved October 6, 2017, from http://science.sciencemag.org.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/content/348/6231/229/tab-pdf

Photograph by Cassie Jensen, National Geographic Your Shot. (2017, July 18). Ocean Acidification. Retrieved October 06, 2017, from http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/oceans/critical-issues-ocean-acidification/

Ocean resources. Retrieved October 06, 2017, from http://geoblueplanet.com/ocean-resources/