The affect the organisms at higher trophic levels.The increasing

The role that the oceans are playing with global warming and climate, are affecting them in ways that the terrestrial life is not. The vast blues are home to the abundant organisms and aquatic life who are all victims of this planetary phenomenon. The increase of carbon emission into the air is being absorbed by oceans, hence increasing their acidity. “Ocean acidification is, I believe, one of the greatest scourges resulting from the considerable development of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, to have both concrete and global impact.” said Prince Albert II of Monaco.Breaking down the problem, is the dawn to finding a solution. This starts by understanding what happens when the seas absorb carbon dioxide, and why it is concerning. There is an excessive amount of carbon emission into the atmosphere that is contributing to global warming and climate change. Over the last 300 million years, the generally basic pH of 8.2 of the oceans dropped to 8.1, a 25 percent increase in acidity. The oceans taking in about 22 million tons of it ( one third) a day which helps to reduce the effects of global warming for terrestrial life, however, below the sea levels, there is an ocean of problems. Calcifying organisms such as corals, oysters, clams, sea urchins, and calcareous plankton, use molecules of carbonate ions to build their shells. When the carbon dioxide, that is being absorbed, react with seawater, releases hydrogen ions. The hydrogen ions compete with the calcifying organisms for carbonate ions and therefore leaving less for organisms to build their skeletons and shells with. The organisms will also spend a lot of their energy and time trying to catch carbonate ions for building, and less in finding food; thus, decreasing their population. There are about 3 billion people who rely on seafood as their primary source of protein, therefore when marine organisms die, it will increase the population of hungry people. The shortage of seafood will be the result of the deaths of producers and primary consumers, many of which who are shell building or calcifying. This will affect the organisms at higher trophic levels.The increasing number of decreasing marine life, will reduce the amount of fishing permitted, which will harm the economies relying on it and the fishing industry. This industry has increased 7 percent this year with a global fish trade value of about $150 billion and its demand continues to increase. The aquaculture thanks to fish farming, is expected to increase at four to 5 percent annually for the next decade.”Global aquaculture production is anticipated to exceed the 100m tonne mark for the first time in 2025 and to reach 102m tonnes by 2026,” said the Food and Agriculture Organization.Communities whose billions of dollar economy relies on coastal tourism will also be impacted due to the dying coral reefs and other aquatic plants. The reef and corals are a bedrock for biodiversity, and they keep shorelines from floods and erosion. There are about 100 countries who depend on the coral reef associated tourism, most of which are developing countries. The world’s coral reefs that are being threatened by environmental stressors including ocean acidification, are at 60 percent and expected to increase to 90 and 100 percent by 2030 and 2050 respectively. The tourism, based on coral reefs, in 2010, was at a global value of $11.5 billion, and growing at a rate of 20 percent annually. As ocean acidification continues to increase, it is causing perpetual damage to the environment and economies. A change needs to be made in how people are treating the planet, and that starts by being more informed. That is why there is The Ocean Project, a non-profit organization aiming to inform the public about the advancing crises the oceans are facing. However, the main cause of ocean acidification is carbon pollution, and in order to reduce acidity, there needs to be a change in the global carbon footprint. Ocean acidification is a separate phenomenon from climate change and needs to be contemplated and researched differently. By donating to organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), whose main focus is to conduct research for a solution, is where finding one begins.


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