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Ocean Acidification


“The potential consequences of ocean acidification on marine organisms are complex. A major concern is the response of calcifying organisms, such as corals, algae, molluscs and some plankton, because their ability to build shell or skeletal material (via calcification) depends on the abundance of carbonate ion. For many organisms, calcification declines with increased acidification. Other impacts of acidification include reduced survival, development, and growth rates as well as changes in physiological functions and reduced biodiversity”

CO2 absorption drives acidification

“The oceans are absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and this is causing chemical changes by making them more acidic”

The Royal Society

Oceans absorb 50% of CO2

“Oceans absorb half of all man made carbon dioxide”

National Geographic, 2004

Ocean acidification caused global extinction 252 million years ago

“252 million years ago the Permian-Triassic Boundary extinction caused by ocean acidification wiped out more than 90% of marine species and more than two-thirds of the animals living on land”

National Geographic, 2015

Oceans 30% more acidic

“In the past 200 years alone, ocean water has become 30% more acidic”

Smithsonian Ocean Portal

Ocean acidification is occurring 10x faster than at any point in the last 55 million years

“Ocean acidification is happening 10 times faster than that which preceded the extinction 55 million years ago during the Palaeocene Eocene Thermal Maximum, the largest ocean acidification event since the extinction of the dinosaurs”

UK Ocean Acidification
Research Programme, 2009

Fossil fuel burning creates 80% of CO2

“80% of human-induced CO2 emissions came from the burning of fossil fuels, while about 20% resulted from deforestation and associated agricultural practices”

Worldwatch Institute, 2009

Livestock are responsible for 64% of human induced ammonia emissions

“Livestock are also responsible for almost two-thirds (64%) of anthropogenic ammonia emissions, which contribute significantly to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems”

United Nations Environment
Programme, 2012



Ocean acidification rate faster than last 300 million years

“The oceans are becoming more acidic at the fastest rate in 300m years. This [acidification] is unprecedented in the Earth’s known history. We are entering an unknown territory of marine ecosystem change, and exposing organisms to intolerable evolutionary pressure. The next mass extinction may have already begun.”

International Program on the State of the
Ocean: State of the Oceans Report, 2013



By 2100 oceans 150% more acidic

“By the end of this century the surface waters of the ocean could be nearly 150% more acidic”

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


800,000 year record of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration