OCEAN ACID­I­FI­CA­TION

Asian Diver (English) - - ALL ABOUT CORALS -

In­creased car­bon diox­ide (CO2) in the at­mos­phere even­tu­ally makes its way into the ocean. As this CO2 is ab­sorbed, the pH of the ocean drops, re­sult­ing in a more acidic en­vi­ron­ment. Nor­mal sea­wa­ter is be­tween 7.5 and 8.5 pH and any­thing be­low 7 is con­sid­ered acidic. Corals use cal­cium car­bon­ate to build their solid skele­tons, but in an acidic ocean, this skele­ton be­comes weaker and corals have more dif­fi­culty build­ing their skele­ton. While this is not such a con­cern for ma­ture colonies, ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion may be af­fect­ing the growth and de­vel­op­ment rates of baby corals, caus­ing de­for­mi­ties in their skele­tons.

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