Ocean acidification is increasingly a term used by scientists, and reported in the media, as one of the big issues of concern for our planet: “the evil twin of climate change” or “the other CO2 problem”. The oceans natural ability to take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is in itself an incredibly important and useful Earth System process, yet the rate of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere is resulting in unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry. The complexity of the oceans buffering capacity, terms such as alkalinity and pH, and the often poorly communicated scientific findings often leads to confusion. Here I will try to set the record straight.
Join Dr Helen Findlay as she explores how the oceans provide a large, important sink for carbon, demonstrates how CO2 causes acidification, explains why monitoring the oceans for pH and alkalinity is not the same thing; and finally discusses what we know and don’t know about the implications of ocean acidification for future marine ecosystems.
Dr Helen Findlay is a biological oceanographer, with a focus on carbonate chemistry, working at Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Helen has participated in numerous ocean acidification research programs within the EU and UK, and since 2010 has been focussing her research on the Arctic Ocean. Helen also has been heavily involved in bringing oceans into schools, education and outreach through her collaborations with Digital Explorer and Exeter University, the success of which has been recognised through being shortlisted for the ‘Exeter Impact Award’, the ‘Best Secondary Resource with ICT, Education Resource Awards’; and being awarded Silver in the ‘Geographical Association Publishers Awards’.
Source: Royal Society Of Chemistry