Ocean Acidification Essay

source: National Geographic

I wrote this as a school assignment, so I thought I would post it. Enjoy!
Grade: I got an A on this assignment.

    Everyone knows that climate change is taking a toll on the Earth. But there is a new carbon dioxide problem being fished out. Oceans cover 70% of the Earths surface. They absorb more than 50% of the carbon dioxide being emitted globally. If carbon dioxide is destroying land and the Earths basic cover-the ozone layer-then, couldn't it take a toll on the oceans as well? Because of the oceans absorption of CO2, a new problem has surfaced: ocean acidification. Ocean acidification will result in not only several sea creatures life drastically changing, but humans current diet and economy changing as well.
    Ocean acidification is mainly the result of an increasing amount of CO2 in the air. Ocean acidification can also become an issue in coastal waters because of local changes in the water's chemistry due to sulfur dioxide and excess nutrition runoff from land. This runoff can change the water's PH. The oceans have absorbed over 50% of CO2 emissions. When CO2 mixes with sea water, the resulting reaction forms both aqueous carbon dioxide, as well as carbonic acid. This reaction causes the lowering of seawater's PH and carbonate saturation. Although it might sound like it, ocean acidification doesn't mean that the ocean water's will become acid, but rather the PH will lower and become acidic enough for it to affect sea life.
    Ocean acidification can cause many environmental issues. It can even affect the economy and the human population. Ocean acidification causes shelled sea creatures to break down. We are already beginning to sea the affect in creatures like tetrapods and sea snails. Tetrapods are a basic food source for many  fish. If the amount of tetrapods in the sea decrease, fish could start decreasing in population because they wouldn't be able to eat tetrapods anymore. This issue will affect the entire food chain. by fish and shelled creatures going extinct, fishermen are in for a tough catch. Many societies also rely on fish as a main staple of their diet, If we don't do something about ocean acidification, the whole world will be affected.
    As the most developed species currently known to science, and as the main species who caused this critical issue, we need to start changing the way we currently treat our planet for the better. Over 70% of global CO2 emissions are produced within city limits. By encouraging the use of alternative technologies for things like electricity, we can start reducing our carbon footprint. As an individual, you can try donating to scientists for research to be done further on ocean acidification. There are things that we still don't know about this issue that need to be discovered. You can also start taking actions to reduce your personal carbon footprint. Changing the current "fate" of our Earth will take serious work, but it will be worth it- for the animals, plants, and the humans.
    The Earth's oceans are one of the most regenerative, vibrant, and simply amazing things known to nature. How is it that the one thing that we thought nothing could touch are getting destroyed in the blink of Mother Nature's eye? At the current rate we are heading, our oceans could go from full of life to an almost completely dead sea- the graveyard left or other creatures to see the horrible feat that humans were able to accomplish: destroying the one thing that couldn't be destroyed on this Earth. What are we going to do: be selfless and make a change for the planet, or continue in our ways and luxury until the Earth is a barren wasteland? The decision is in our hands- but will we make the right one?

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