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Do Now #73: An Acidic Ocean For All?

| April 10, 2013 | 24 Comments
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California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.


Do Now

Why does ocean acidification matter? What role can you play?

Introduction

Over the past one hundred years or so, the ocean has absorbed the carbon dioxide (CO₂) released into the environment from burning fossil fuels. Absorbing these emissions makes our oceans more acidic. This change in the ocean’s pH level is called ocean acidification. As the pH levels change, we face increasing threats to our ocean health, marine life and even our economy (i.e. industries such as fisheries and tourism).

One of the most harmful effects of ocean acidification is a decrease in marine organisms’ ability to grow structures like skeletons and shells. Corals are especially under attack; higher acidity slows their growth and makes their skeletons weaker. Since coral reefs are home to at least a quarter of all marine species, losing such a habitat would have drastic effects for our global food chain.

Though ocean acidification is a relatively new topic of discussion for scientists, it has caught the attention of several groups around the world to speak and act in support of our oceans. In an article in Scientific American, Virginia Gewin writes, “Washington State, a leading U.S. producer of farmed shellfish, has launched a $3.3-million, science-based plan to address this growing problem for the region and the globe.” There are other actions and studies taking place in the scientific community as well. The Science Daily writes that at Stanford University, scientists are seeking the sea urchin’s secret to surviving ocean acidification.

How much of a threat does ocean acidification have on our ecosystem and food chain?

Resource

California Academy of Sciences video Ocean Acidification – Feb. 25, 2013
Ocean acidification will literally dissolve some of the shells in the ocean. In this video, scientists discuss the impact of the ocean’s changing pH levels.


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with@KQEDedspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

We encourage students to reply to other people’s tweets to foster more of a conversation. Also, if students tweet their personal opinions, ask them to support their ideas with links to interesting/credible articles online (adding a nice research component) or retweet other people’s ideas that they agree/disagree/find amusing. We also value student-produced media linked to their tweets like memes or more extensive blog posts to represent their ideas. Of course, do as you can…and any contribution is most welcomed.


More Resources

KQED QUEST podcast West Coast a Test Bed for Ocean Acidification – Sept. 25, 2012
This week, scientists from around the world are meeting in Monterey to discuss what they call the “other” climate change problem: the oceans are becoming more acidic. It happens as oceans absorb the carbon dioxide we add to the air through burning fossil fuels.

Laguna Beach Independent article Emergency Status Unlocks Sea Lion Aid – April 5, 2013
With the federal government declaring the extraordinary number of starving sea lion pups along the Southern California coastline an “unusual mortality event,” the door is opened for possible emergency funding for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, a center spokesperson said this week. Nearly 150 young sea lions are now receiving emergency care at PMMC, the highest number of marine mammal rescues ever treated at the 42-year-old center.

Drew-Freeman Middle School’s Climate Science Academy video Ocean Acidification – April 13, 2012
Video compiled by the Climate Science Academy at Drew-Freeman Middle School to show the effects of increasing amounts of carbon dioxide on the oceans. This video won first prize for middle school science video at the KQED Science Youth Media Festival in June, 2012.


KQED Do Now Science is a monthly activity in collaboration with California Academy of Sciences. To participate in this discussion, we post our science activities every second Tuesday of the month.

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Category: Do Now, Do Now: Science, Science

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About the Author ()

Matthew Williams is a filmmaker and media educator who has recently transplanted to Oakland from Los Angeles. He believes that you are what you eat and feels everyone should have a multitude of dietary options for self-realization. Matthew is the Educational Technologist at KQED.
  • jesus diaz

    In all honestly we should cut back on all of the emissions that our cars and factories produce each day. For example we should find a way to create an exhaust system that reduces how much co2 spews out of our cars. Possibly find a way to get factories to be a little cleaner with their giant smoke stacks.

  • jesus diaz

    In all honestly we should cut back on all of the emissions that our cars and factories produce each day. For example we should find a way to create an exhaust system that reduces how much co2 spews out of our cars. Possibly find a way to get factories to be a little cleaner with their giant smoke stacks.

  • MariahT4 (WestJeff)

    This “acidification” is a looming threat to fisheries because of its potential impact on organisms that form protective shells, such as coral, calcifying phytoplankton, crabs, and other shellfish that derive their calcium and carbonate ions from seawater. The calcium carbonate structure of the shells of these organisms may corrode if CO2 levels in the water increase enough. A more immediate concern, however, is that many organisms depend on carbonate ions dissolved in seawater to build their shells. In seawater, CO2 reacts with carbonate ions and lowers carbonate concentration. If the carbonate ion concentration is too low, those creatures will be unable to form their shells.
    The very basis of the oceanic food chain is made up to a significant extent of calciferous plankton, which are tiny drifting organisms. Of particular concern to Alaska fishermen is the effect acidification can have on a planktonic, free-swimming snail called a pteropod, or sea angel, which is an important food for commercial fish such as pink salmon, herring, and pollock. Entire ecosystems may change with ocean acidification. Scientists generally agree that the only way to slow or stop ocean acidification is to reduce “greenhouse gases” by cutting fossil fuel emissions.

  • MariahT4 (WestJeff)

    This “acidification” is a looming threat to fisheries because of its potential impact on organisms that form protective shells, such as coral, calcifying phytoplankton, crabs, and other shellfish that derive their calcium and carbonate ions from seawater. The calcium carbonate structure of the shells of these organisms may corrode if CO2 levels in the water increase enough. A more immediate concern, however, is that many organisms depend on carbonate ions dissolved in seawater to build their shells. In seawater, CO2 reacts with carbonate ions and lowers carbonate concentration. If the carbonate ion concentration is too low, those creatures will be unable to form their shells.
    The very basis of the oceanic food chain is made up to a significant extent of calciferous plankton, which are tiny drifting organisms. Of particular concern to Alaska fishermen is the effect acidification can have on a planktonic, free-swimming snail called a pteropod, or sea angel, which is an important food for commercial fish such as pink salmon, herring, and pollock. Entire ecosystems may change with ocean acidification. Scientists generally agree that the only way to slow or stop ocean acidification is to reduce “greenhouse gases” by cutting fossil fuel emissions.

  • VictoriaT4 (West Jeff)

    Today we have many things going on around the world that could affect the acidification in our oceans. We can simply hurt our oceans that help us survive by just driving around in our cars that causes pollution and chemicals that the Earth will eventually soak up. People need to realize that our Earth is like a gigantic sponge, and like a sponge, it soaks up everything that is around it. Good or bad, the ocean is soaking up the harmful gases that our people give off and that is where acidification starts. This is a huge issue because it is hurting the oceanic environment. The animals that call the ocean home will not have that if we continue to release harmful carbon dioxide into the air. Animals that live in the ocean will have to suffer for something they had no intention of doing, and we are the blame for this. This is a serious issue for our economy as well because there will be a 300 million dollar lost if the acidification of our oceans worsen. Being from Louisiana, the culture of the state is through the seafood industry and what creatures grow in the oceans. That will come to a complete hault if we continue to expose our oceans to carbon dioxide. As the oceans get more and more expose to carbon dioxide each and every day we could do simple task like take a shorter route to work, and resist that “just driving around” mood to help our oceans.

  • VictoriaT4 (West Jeff)

    Today we have many things going on around the world that could affect the acidification in our oceans. We can simply hurt our oceans that help us survive by just driving around in our cars that causes pollution and chemicals that the Earth will eventually soak up. People need to realize that our Earth is like a gigantic sponge, and like a sponge, it soaks up everything that is around it. Good or bad, the ocean is soaking up the harmful gases that our people give off and that is where acidification starts. This is a huge issue because it is hurting the oceanic environment. The animals that call the ocean home will not have that if we continue to release harmful carbon dioxide into the air. Animals that live in the ocean will have to suffer for something they had no intention of doing, and we are the blame for this. This is a serious issue for our economy as well because there will be a 300 million dollar lost if the acidification of our oceans worsen. Being from Louisiana, the culture of the state is through the seafood industry and what creatures grow in the oceans. That will come to a complete hault if we continue to expose our oceans to carbon dioxide. As the oceans get more and more expose to carbon dioxide each and every day we could do simple task like take a shorter route to work, and resist that “just driving around” mood to help our oceans.

  • Syd

    One- third of all carbon dioxide emissions from humans have been absorbed by the oceans, making the oceans the most acidic they have been for tens of millions of years. At the current rate of ocean acidification, this will only get worse. And this acidification doesn’t only affect marine life, it affects humans as well. Ocean plankton provide 50% of the oxygen that we breathe and the amount of ocean plankton has decreased by 6% over the past thirty years. Coral reefs are being lost twice as fast as the rain forests. In fact, a coral reef is being lost every other day (keep in mind that there are only about 10,000). If ocean acidification is left unresolved, scientists believe that it could potentially cause a Great Mass Extinction Event; four of the five past Mass Extinction Events have been linked to a spike in ocean acidification. If humans don’t’ take this issue head on soon, we are on our way into some serious turmoil. Ocean acidification is primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels, so if humans reduce the amount of fossil fuels being burned we will be taking at least one step in the right direction. (coral.org and oceanacidification.net)

  • Syd

    One- third of all carbon dioxide emissions from humans have been absorbed by the oceans, making the oceans the most acidic they have been for tens of millions of years. At the current rate of ocean acidification, this will only get worse. And this acidification doesn’t only affect marine life, it affects humans as well. Ocean plankton provide 50% of the oxygen that we breathe and the amount of ocean plankton has decreased by 6% over the past thirty years. Coral reefs are being lost twice as fast as the rain forests. In fact, a coral reef is being lost every other day (keep in mind that there are only about 10,000). If ocean acidification is left unresolved, scientists believe that it could potentially cause a Great Mass Extinction Event; four of the five past Mass Extinction Events have been linked to a spike in ocean acidification. If humans don’t’ take this issue head on soon, we are on our way into some serious turmoil. Ocean acidification is primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels, so if humans reduce the amount of fossil fuels being burned we will be taking at least one step in the right direction. (coral.org and oceanacidification.net)

  • Grace

    Although the key to a sustainable future is improving our environment and making a healthier earth, environmental issues are highly disregarded in news today. Especially in regards with our oceans, something needs to be done. The coral reefs only make up .1% of the whole ocean, but 25% of all marine life depends on them (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coral_reef). They provide feeding grounds, nursery areas, living spaces, and protection for an enormous assortment of fish and invertebrates. Coral reefs provide coastal protection by buffering wave energy and are a source of countless medicines and protein. Nearly 500 million people directly depend on healthy coral reefs for sustenance, and even more are indirectly effected (www.ocean-acidification.net/FAQeco.html). And even though coral reefs play such a vital role, this ecosystem faces extermination at our hands. “Coral reefs… are under threat from ocean acidification, climate change (and this summer’s nasty heatwave), overfishing, coastal development, and more” (http://www.rareconservation.org/blog/2010/08/25/why-coral-reefs-are-so-important-expert-qa/). We need to reduce the impact of climate change, because coral reefs, like all living things, can only live under suitable conditions. Coral reefs are giving us a warning and we need to listen in order to save our Earth. The ocean is one of the most important parts of our Earth, and it is in our hands to save it. A few simple ways to improve our environmental impact is conserving the amount of water we use, reduce our fossil fuel emissions, use only ecological and organic fertilizers, dispose of your trash properly, reduce the amount of trash you dispose, support reef-friendly businesses, plant a tree to reduce run-off into the oceans, volunteer for coral reef clean-up, contact your government representatives, and spread the word. (http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/coralreefs/ways-to-help-coral-reefs/index.htm)

  • Grace

    Although the key to a sustainable future is improving our environment and making a healthier earth, environmental issues are highly disregarded in news today. Especially in regards with our oceans, something needs to be done. The coral reefs only make up .1% of the whole ocean, but 25% of all marine life depends on them (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coral_reef). They provide feeding grounds, nursery areas, living spaces, and protection for an enormous assortment of fish and invertebrates. Coral reefs provide coastal protection by buffering wave energy and are a source of countless medicines and protein. Nearly 500 million people directly depend on healthy coral reefs for sustenance, and even more are indirectly effected (www.ocean-acidification.net/FAQeco.html). And even though coral reefs play such a vital role, this ecosystem faces extermination at our hands. “Coral reefs… are under threat from ocean acidification, climate change (and this summer’s nasty heatwave), overfishing, coastal development, and more” (http://www.rareconservation.org/blog/2010/08/25/why-coral-reefs-are-so-important-expert-qa/). We need to reduce the impact of climate change, because coral reefs, like all living things, can only live under suitable conditions. Coral reefs are giving us a warning and we need to listen in order to save our Earth. The ocean is one of the most important parts of our Earth, and it is in our hands to save it. A few simple ways to improve our environmental impact is conserving the amount of water we use, reduce our fossil fuel emissions, use only ecological and organic fertilizers, dispose of your trash properly, reduce the amount of trash you dispose, support reef-friendly businesses, plant a tree to reduce run-off into the oceans, volunteer for coral reef clean-up, contact your government representatives, and spread the word. (http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/coralreefs/ways-to-help-coral-reefs/index.htm)

  • IRomano

    We have been hearing about the undeniably detrimental effects of fossil fuels for years now – yet many remain unaware of their abysmal effect on the ocean. Global warming is not only warming the ocean from which many make a living, but acidifying it. The CO2 released by burning fossil fuels increases the Hydronium ion content in the water by reacting with H2O, therefore dropping the pH level (an indication of acidity). The CO2 we have emitted into the ocean since the Industrial Revolution has lowered the pH level by .1. I realize that number may seem tiny, but it accounts for a 30% increase in the amount of hydronium ions (H+) in the ocean in the last two centuries alone. (http://e360.yale.edu/feature/an_ominous_warning_on_the__effects_of_ocean_acidification/2241/). The ocean contains 99% of the living space on earth and supports the life of 50% of the worlds living species. (http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/ocean_life.html) The drop in pH is jeopardizing that life. Millions of species (especially corals) build skeletons out of calcium carbonate – but the increased hydrogen ions react with the calcium carbonate to form substances from which species cannot form their shells. Coral reefs support millions of organisms – they are essential to countless ecosystems – and without them a quarter of the ocean’s biodiversity is at risk. Not only that but many vulnerable species are food sources for other ocean species, which are food sources for another, and so on and so forth. This increase in pH will greatly affect the oyster market in Washington State – which could put thousands of people out of work. In order to counter this acidification, we need to act now. We must turn to renewable, clean sources of energy which do not release fossil fuels. On a person to person basis, we can carpool and utilize public transportation, as well as utilize clean energy sources in our home (solar power, etc). The people of the world must realize that their actions have a direct impact on the environment. If we continue down our current path, billions of species will be lost, and consequently millions of jobs. So do us all a favor and take the bus, ride a bike, carpool, or take the metro. The “inconvenience” is most definitely worth it.

  • IRomano

    We have been hearing about the undeniably detrimental effects of fossil fuels for years now – yet many remain unaware of their abysmal effect on the ocean. Global warming is not only warming the ocean from which many make a living, but acidifying it. The CO2 released by burning fossil fuels increases the Hydronium ion content in the water by reacting with H2O, therefore dropping the pH level (an indication of acidity). The CO2 we have emitted into the ocean since the Industrial Revolution has lowered the pH level by .1. I realize that number may seem tiny, but it accounts for a 30% increase in the amount of hydronium ions (H+) in the ocean in the last two centuries alone. (http://e360.yale.edu/feature/an_ominous_warning_on_the__effects_of_ocean_acidification/2241/). The ocean contains 99% of the living space on earth and supports the life of 50% of the worlds living species. (http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/ocean_life.html) The drop in pH is jeopardizing that life. Millions of species (especially corals) build skeletons out of calcium carbonate – but the increased hydrogen ions react with the calcium carbonate to form substances from which species cannot form their shells. Coral reefs support millions of organisms – they are essential to countless ecosystems – and without them a quarter of the ocean’s biodiversity is at risk. Not only that but many vulnerable species are food sources for other ocean species, which are food sources for another, and so on and so forth. This increase in pH will greatly affect the oyster market in Washington State – which could put thousands of people out of work. In order to counter this acidification, we need to act now. We must turn to renewable, clean sources of energy which do not release fossil fuels. On a person to person basis, we can carpool and utilize public transportation, as well as utilize clean energy sources in our home (solar power, etc). The people of the world must realize that their actions have a direct impact on the environment. If we continue down our current path, billions of species will be lost, and consequently millions of jobs. So do us all a favor and take the bus, ride a bike, carpool, or take the metro. The “inconvenience” is most definitely worth it.

  • Ally

    While the world has become more aware of the threat of global warming and climate change, many people don’t understand the far reaching effects our fossil fuel emissions have on planet Earth, specifically the devastating effects of ocean acidification. The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and contains 97 percent of the planet’s water (http://www.noaa.gov/ocean.html). It is integral to many cycles of life – the water cycle, food chain, etc.. Because of CO₂ emissions (from the burning of fossil fuels) absorbed absorbed by the ocean, the pH of the ocean has decreased meaning it is more acidic (higher hydronium ion concentration). For those who aren’t chemists, acidification is not a good thing. In order to change the pH of such a massive body of water like the ocean, a huge concentration of CO₂ must be released into the atmosphere – an feat accomplished by modern society and our reliance of fossil fuels. While the entire world shares the ocean, the United States and other industrialized nations share a bigger responsibility in solving this problem. Alone, the United States is responsible for 19% of global fossil fuel emissions (http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.USE.COMM.FO.ZS). Because of our large role in acidifying the ocean, plus our more substantive resources available to combat the issue, it is time we do something. The nation needs to follow the lead of Washington State, which has taken steps to study acidification and implement programs to stop it. If we don’t do anything about acidification, we can be sure to see problems environmentally and economically as the source of much of Earth’s life becomes devastated. What is the number one way to stop acidification? Go to the source of the problem – fossil fuel emissions. As a nation, and a world, we must stop our reliance on these poisonous gasses. This means big actions like investing in clean energy and small actions such as carpooling or using public transportation.

  • Ally

    While the world has become more aware of the threat of global warming and climate change, many people don’t understand the far reaching effects our fossil fuel emissions have on planet Earth, specifically the devastating effects of ocean acidification. The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and contains 97 percent of the planet’s water (http://www.noaa.gov/ocean.html). It is integral to many cycles of life – the water cycle, food chain, etc.. Because of CO₂ emissions (from the burning of fossil fuels) absorbed absorbed by the ocean, the pH of the ocean has decreased meaning it is more acidic (higher hydronium ion concentration). For those who aren’t chemists, acidification is not a good thing. In order to change the pH of such a massive body of water like the ocean, a huge concentration of CO₂ must be released into the atmosphere – an feat accomplished by modern society and our reliance of fossil fuels. While the entire world shares the ocean, the United States and other industrialized nations share a bigger responsibility in solving this problem. Alone, the United States is responsible for 19% of global fossil fuel emissions (http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.USE.COMM.FO.ZS). Because of our large role in acidifying the ocean, plus our more substantive resources available to combat the issue, it is time we do something. The nation needs to follow the lead of Washington State, which has taken steps to study acidification and implement programs to stop it. If we don’t do anything about acidification, we can be sure to see problems environmentally and economically as the source of much of Earth’s life becomes devastated. What is the number one way to stop acidification? Go to the source of the problem – fossil fuel emissions. As a nation, and a world, we must stop our reliance on these poisonous gasses. This means big actions like investing in clean energy and small actions such as carpooling or using public transportation.

  • Katherine Moser

    Usually, people only tend to pay attention to the things that directly affect them. Sadly, this petty human habit applies to the subject of climate change as well. People refuse to acknowledge its reality, meanwhile going on about their day-to-day lives, blissfully ignorant about the significance of the environmental impact of their activities. The ocean is the world’s lungs, taking in all that is put into the atmosphere like a sponge, and happens to be suffering directly from the consequences of our selfishness. In addition to the acidification of our ocean due to to O2 emissions, is the warming of our ocean as a whole. This warming of only 1 degree Fahrenheit (on average) seems small, but should actually be taken very seriously, as it has bleached and killed off a good amount of our coral reefs in combination with the acidic climate of the ocean. In definition, coral reef bleaching is when the colorful zooxanthellae is expelled from the coral, depleting it completely of all its nutrients it needs to survive, and thus making the color white. These reefs are what fish, such as the clownfish, live in and feed off of- giving life to a whopping 25% of the ocean. Rising temperatures of the ocean harm reef fish’s ability to swim and reproduce, according to recent scientific findings. The acidification and warming also harms the fish’s nervous system, which will later affect their senses of sight and smell. This loss of basic abilities, as well as homes and nutrients make the small fish and plankton more susceptible to being harmed by a predator at accelerated rates, messing up the balance of the ocean’s ecosystem.
    However, there are solutions which all happen to be political, and are for some reason disputed based on party lines. We need to immediately implement environmentally-friendly policies, limiting the amount of O2 emissions, thus slowing ocean acidification and global warming as a whole. Also, the government needs to add about 83 coral species on the the Endangered Species Act, protecting them from irreversible extinction.
    The human race in general needs to realize that we are a PART of the ecosystem, not just TRAMPLING on it.
    Sources:
    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/index.html
    http://www.defenders.org/endangered-species-act/endangered-species-act-101

  • Katherine Moser

    Usually, people only tend to pay attention to the things that directly affect them. Sadly, this petty human habit applies to the subject of climate change as well. People refuse to acknowledge its reality, meanwhile going on about their day-to-day lives, blissfully ignorant about the significance of the environmental impact of their activities. The ocean is the world’s lungs, taking in all that is put into the atmosphere like a sponge, and happens to be suffering directly from the consequences of our selfishness. In addition to the acidification of our ocean due to to O2 emissions, is the warming of our ocean as a whole. This warming of only 1 degree Fahrenheit (on average) seems small, but should actually be taken very seriously, as it has bleached and killed off a good amount of our coral reefs in combination with the acidic climate of the ocean. In definition, coral reef bleaching is when the colorful zooxanthellae is expelled from the coral, depleting it completely of all its nutrients it needs to survive, and thus making the color white. These reefs are what fish, such as the clownfish, live in and feed off of- giving life to a whopping 25% of the ocean. Rising temperatures of the ocean harm reef fish’s ability to swim and reproduce, according to recent scientific findings. The acidification and warming also harms the fish’s nervous system, which will later affect their senses of sight and smell. This loss of basic abilities, as well as homes and nutrients make the small fish and plankton more susceptible to being harmed by a predator at accelerated rates, messing up the balance of the ocean’s ecosystem.
    However, there are solutions which all happen to be political, and are for some reason disputed based on party lines. We need to immediately implement environmentally-friendly policies, limiting the amount of O2 emissions, thus slowing ocean acidification and global warming as a whole. Also, the government needs to add about 83 coral species on the the Endangered Species Act, protecting them from irreversible extinction.
    The human race in general needs to realize that we are a PART of the ecosystem, not just TRAMPLING on it.
    Sources:
    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/index.html
    http://www.defenders.org/endangered-species-act/endangered-species-act-101

  • Jackie Morgan

    Little do we know how much we depend on our oceans and coral reefs and how big of an impact it would be if they are impacted in any way. Coral reefs help to reduce the impact of environmental events like tsunamis on the land. We depend on the fish that live in coral reefs everywhere for food and the sustaining of the food chain. In a recent NPR story, one scientist said “The oceans have become about 30 percent more acidic in the past 200 years because some of the carbon dioxide from our tailpipes, smokestacks and chimneys has dissolved in the sea.” (http://www.kuer.org/post/scientists-use-antacid-help-measure-rate-reef-growth). This scientist is experimenting in the coral reef by adding an antacid to the water to see if the reef will grow faster in a less acidic environment. If his experiment works, it seems to be a temporary solution but in the end, the problem stems from our reliance and overuse of fossil fuels. We must solve the problem at its root or nothing will be solved in the end. Solutions like the antacid seem to be just a “cover up” for our inability to reduce our emissions and create a world where we protect our environment. We seem to be taking advantage of this fundamental resource that we need for survival and oblivious to the consequences. Lets help fix the real problem so solutions that just hide the problem dont need to be used.

  • Jackie Morgan

    Little do we know how much we depend on our oceans and coral reefs and how big of an impact it would be if they are impacted in any way. Coral reefs help to reduce the impact of environmental events like tsunamis on the land. We depend on the fish that live in coral reefs everywhere for food and the sustaining of the food chain. In a recent NPR story, one scientist said “The oceans have become about 30 percent more acidic in the past 200 years because some of the carbon dioxide from our tailpipes, smokestacks and chimneys has dissolved in the sea.” (http://www.kuer.org/post/scientists-use-antacid-help-measure-rate-reef-growth). This scientist is experimenting in the coral reef by adding an antacid to the water to see if the reef will grow faster in a less acidic environment. If his experiment works, it seems to be a temporary solution but in the end, the problem stems from our reliance and overuse of fossil fuels. We must solve the problem at its root or nothing will be solved in the end. Solutions like the antacid seem to be just a “cover up” for our inability to reduce our emissions and create a world where we protect our environment. We seem to be taking advantage of this fundamental resource that we need for survival and oblivious to the consequences. Lets help fix the real problem so solutions that just hide the problem dont need to be used.

  • JM

    To many people it may seem that the only important resource we get form the ocean is seafood, but actually the marine plant life (algae etc) in the ocean also provide around 70% of the oxygen in our atmosphere (http://www.ecology.com/2011/09/12/important-organism/). Looking past the just essential contributions of ocean, almost 50% of all species live in the oceans (http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/ocean_life.html). While we may try to separate ourselves from the changes in the oceanic environment, every major change, such as the acidic levels of the ocean, has a direct impact on the rest of the planet. Once the general public realizes how important maintaining the integrity of the ocean is to us, not just for the fresh seafood, then we can start to fixing these problems. A sizable portion of the Carbon Dioxide released by humans ends up in the oceans, with increases the acidification. There are many things we can do to improve this situation. One would be to stop driving to as many places, and trying to bike there or take public transport. This is just one, but it is easily done, and can in the long run actually make a difference.

  • JM

    To many people it may seem that the only important resource we get form the ocean is seafood, but actually the marine plant life (algae etc) in the ocean also provide around 70% of the oxygen in our atmosphere (http://www.ecology.com/2011/09/12/important-organism/). Looking past the just essential contributions of ocean, almost 50% of all species live in the oceans (http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/ocean_life.html). While we may try to separate ourselves from the changes in the oceanic environment, every major change, such as the acidic levels of the ocean, has a direct impact on the rest of the planet. Once the general public realizes how important maintaining the integrity of the ocean is to us, not just for the fresh seafood, then we can start to fixing these problems. A sizable portion of the Carbon Dioxide released by humans ends up in the oceans, with increases the acidification. There are many things we can do to improve this situation. One would be to stop driving to as many places, and trying to bike there or take public transport. This is just one, but it is easily done, and can in the long run actually make a difference.

  • Justin

    Honestly, if people would just cut back on small things in their everyday lives, there would be an immense amount of change to our oceans and other water sources, as well as our wild life and their life spans. People don’t realize that the little things they do are effecting them and others around them in a negative way until it’s too late.

  • Justin

    Honestly, if people would just cut back on small things in their everyday lives, there would be an immense amount of change to our oceans and other water sources, as well as our wild life and their life spans. People don’t realize that the little things they do are effecting them and others around them in a negative way until it’s too late.

  • Sarvis

    I think one of the biggest problems is that many people don’t care. I think there should be fines for the amount of garbage a household produces. People would start to recycle more to avoid having to pay a fine.

  • Sarvis

    I think one of the biggest problems is that many people don’t care. I think there should be fines for the amount of garbage a household produces. People would start to recycle more to avoid having to pay a fine.