Since the Industrial Revolution, the ocean’s acidity has changed one hundred times faster than “any change in acidity experienced during the last 21 million years” (1). This incredibly fast rate of change makes it more difficult for organisms to adapt, because evolution occurs over time, and scientists question whether ocean ecosystems will adapt at all. Organisms that use Calcium Carbonate to construct their shells or skeletons are particularly vulnerable to acidification because the acid erodes the calcium and prevents calcification. If these organisms disappear, marine ecosystems would be significantly disrupted.
By disrupting ecosystems and food webs, acidification would also cause damage to commercial fishing. Millions of people’s food or income sources would be lost. The warmer temperature of the ocean would additionally make it less able to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), and thus, leave more CO2 in the atmosphere.
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