Ocean Acidification: The resulting increase in acidity measured by lower pH values changes the balance of minerals in the water.
Biogeosciences 7: Lesson Take Away: Climate change is the greatest global threat to coral reef ecosystems. Related information can be found at: An official website of the United States government.
Venables, P. The lower the saturation level, the more difficult it is for organisms to build and maintain their protective skeletons and shells.
Acidity also varies with water temperature. Kuzirian, B. The pH scale. The saga does not end here, unfortunately.
Print less. Cambridge University Press. The up-and-down pattern shows the influence of seasonal variations. When combined, all of these impacts dramatically alter ecosystem function, as well as the goods and services coral reef ecosystems provide to people around the globe.
Download more. Although this has slowed global warming, it is also changing ocean chemistry. Aragonite saturation has only been measured at selected locations during the last few decades, but it can be calculated reliably for different times and locations based on the relationships scientists have observed among aragonite saturation, pH, dissolved carbon, water temperature, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and other factors that can be measured.
Air and water pollution also lead to increased acidity in some areas.
Fielding, E. Home Ocean Facts How does climate change affect coral reefs?
Ocean acidification represents a direct chemical change to global ocean chemistry in response to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide CO2.