acidification n : the process of becoming acid or being converted into an acid
EtymologyCompare French ''acidification
- Rhymes: -eɪʃǝn
the act or process of making something sour (acidifying), or changing into an acid
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 cycleIn 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).
- Kleypas, J.A., R.A. Feely, V.J. Fabry, C. Langdon, C.L. Sabine, and L.L. Robbins. (2006). Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Coral Reefs and Other Marine Calcifiers: A Guide for Further Research, report of a workshop held 18-20 April 2005, St. Petersburg, FL, sponsored by NSF, NOAA and the U.S. Geological Survey, 88pp.
- Kolbert, E. (2006). The Darkening Sea: Carbon emissions and the ocean. The New Yorker magazine. 20 November 2006.
- Announcement for Royal Society of London report
- Orr et al. (2005) supplementary material
- The Acid Ocean – the Other Problem with CO2 Emission, David Archer, a RealClimate discussion
- Task Force on Ocean Acidification in the Pacific, including recent presentations on ocean acidification, Pacific Science Association
- "Coral Bones" - an investigation into the future of coral reefs
- "Growing Acidity of Oceans May Kill Corals", Washington Post
- Ocean Acidification - a multimedia, interactive site from The World Ocean Observatory
- Dropping pH in the Oceans Causing a Rising Tide of Alarm by Tundi Agardy, The World Ocean Observatory
- Regularly-updated "blog" of ocean acidification publications and news
- The Ocean Acidification Network: An Information Network for the International Scientific Community
- CO2-04: Effect of Elevated CO2 on Phytoplankton project of Australia's Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre
Carbonate system calculatorsThe 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