Simply put the ocean is trying to absorb the man made carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. There are two ways carbon cycles form, organic carbon cycle and inorganic carbon cycle. The later causes the problem in oceans as they are responsible for the many forms of dissolved carbon dioxide present in the oceans. When this dissolves it reacts with water to form ionic and non-ionic chemicals such as: dissolved free carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, bicarbonate and carbonate.
Another way to think about it is that as the carbon dioxide concentration increases in the atmosphere and as ocean temeratures rise, more carbon dioxide is dissolved into the ocean. When carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean, positive hydrogen ions (H+) are released, which make the water more acidic. This is problematic for a variety of reasons, including the dissolving of calcium carbonate shells of ocean living creatures.
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