The California coast is a thriving ecosystem, both beneath the sea and in the cities that line its shore. For the purposes of our discussion, we will focus on mussels as an example species. Mussels, as we speak are being harmed by ocean acidification, and the damage is becoming more and more costly to our ecosystem.
Global climate change, more commonly referred to as global warming, is an important factor in ocean acidification. At its most basic, climate change is the result of previously unheard of levels of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere and creating a greenhouse effect within the earth’s atmosphere. This causes the average temperature of the planet to increase over time. The full effects of this kind of temperature increase are still being explored, but it is already clear that our planet is being harmed as a result. Ocean acidification is an extension of global climate change. It is the result of about a third of the carbon dioxide in the air seeping into the earth’s oceans.
Our ocean, consisting of approximately 70% water and 30% land, is a vast surplus habitat that is unexplored and uncontrollable. Although humanity has achieved much in advancement in technology, resources, food, and more, nature is a factor that humanity cannot predict and manipulate. Nevertheless, our society has caused a grand shift in our global climate, a shift that is costly to our environment. One major reason to account for this shift is the utilization of fossil fuels into the environment. This process creates a multitude of carbon atoms that are released into the atmosphere, which is detrimental to our environment. To be exact, global warming is the process where there is an increase amount of greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and more) which are capable of stopping thermal radiation from leaving our atmosphere. This thermal radiation is caused by solar radiation that enters our atmosphere. Once this radiation is unable to escape our earth’s atmosphere, this thermal radiation then affects our planet, increasing the average temperature our planet usually experiences. In addition, fossil fuel is not the only factor that increases the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, deforestation also plays a role in the amount of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere. The process of burning trees releases a massive amount of carbon, this is because originally trees store carbon dioxide within themselves, and burning this habitat releases this stored carbon into the atmosphere. Our planet is moving towards a downward spiral, where our living environment will gradually become a hotter habitat that many species cannot tolerate. Additionally, there is another dangerous element that is arising from this increase carbon emission which differs greatly from increase average temperature, ocean acidification (Mackenzie, et al., 2014).
Ocean acidification is, as the title states, the process where the ocean...