AskDefine | Define acidification

Dictionary Definition

acidification n : the process of becoming acid or being converted into an acid

User Contributed Dictionary



Compare French ''acidification



  1. The act or process of making something sour (acidifying), or changing into an acid.


the act or process of making something sour (acidifying), or changing into an acid



  1. acidification.

Extensive Definition

Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth's oceans, caused by their uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.179 to 8.104 (a change of -0.075).

Carbon cycle

In the natural carbon cycle, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) represents a balance of fluxes between the oceans, terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere. Human activities such as land-use changes, the combustion of fossil fuels, and the production of cement have led to a new flux of CO2 into the atmosphere. Some of this has remained in the atmosphere (where it is responsible for the rise in atmospheric concentrations), some is believed to have been taken up by terrestrial plants, and some has been absorbed by the oceans.
When CO2 dissolves, it reacts with water to form a balance of ionic and non-ionic chemical species : dissolved free carbon dioxide (CO2 (aq)), carbonic acid (H2CO3), bicarbonate (HCO3-) and carbonate (CO32-). The ratio of these species depends on factors such as seawater temperature and alkalinity (see the article on the ocean's solubility pump for more detail).



Carbonate system calculators

The following packages calculate the state of the carbonate system in seawater (including pH):
acidification in German: Versauerung der Meere
acidification in Spanish: Acidificación del océano
acidification in French: Acidification de l’océan
acidification in Korean: 해양 산성화
acidification in Italian: Acidificazione degli oceani
acidification in Finnish: Merien happamoituminen
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