Fossil Fuel Provided A Cheap And Reliable Method To Harness Fuel

695 words - 3 pages

As time progresses, technology advances and our need for consistent immediate energy becomes a distinctive part of our survival. The burning of fossil fuels provides us with this advantage: a cheap and well-developed reliable method to harness energy required for electricity, transportation, and industrial benefits (Quay et al., 1992) However, this short-term method of acquiring energy hardly compares to the long-term ecological and economical affects brought by the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2). The combustion of fossil fuels alters the oceans acidity level, as it becomes a large reservoir for the greenhouse gas. Thus, resulting in an increase in acidity, a phenomena known as ocean acidification (Kump et al, 2010). The availability of marine foods becomes an economical and ecological threat because of high acidity in the ocean, which impacts the survival rate of many dominating marine food web organisms and keystone species (Kump et al, 2010). The effects of ocean acidification are illustrated through the evidence of marine calcifying organisms and coral reef bleaching. However, limitations of using these lines of evidence due to overlapping results with other stressors present a problem with the accuracy of the experiments (Fabry et al., 2008). Nevertheless, new technologies are consistently being revised in order to better support the inevitable process of ocean acidification.
Ocean Acidification:
The last 200 years have become a hallmark for the two trillion tones of CO2 being released into the atmosphere due to the combustion of fossil fuels (Buffie et al., 2010). As a result of the influx in atmospheric CO2, the ocean absorbs 30 – 40% of the greenhouse gas, which in turn produces carbonic acid (H2CO3) in solution (Rosentreter et al., 2010). Furthermore, to achieve a chemical equilibrium, excess carbonic acid molecules begin to react with water to form bicarbonate and hydronium ions, increasing the ocean acidity levels to a detrimental state for marine life (Fabry et al., 2008). The process of ocean acidification yields a drop in seawater saturation state of carbonate minerals, which is required by many marine organisms to form a protective skeleton and shell for their...

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