This summer, I wrote about ocean acidification in an environmental education iBook for middle school students. Here is an excerpt from the book:
Because of the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, the ocean is absorbing more CO2, which lowers the pH balance of the ocean. pH is a measurement of how acidic or basic a substance is. In the oceans, a lower the pH value means the more likely seawater will dissolve marine structures made of calcium carbonate minerals. Over time, the pH of the ocean has been dropping because of the CO2 entering seawater from air, causing damage to coral, mollusks, and other marine animals. This is called ocean acidification.
It may seem as if this problem is not able to be fixed because of the increase in carbon in our atmosphere due to climate change. However, scientists have started to find a solution. They have figured out how to create “super corals”, which have “proven particularly resistant to acidic conditions and warmer water temperatures. They are not genetically engineered, but rather genetically selected.”
These “super corals” are expected to boost resilience to environmental issues like ocean acidification by pre-disposition to CO2. Once specific corals are pre-conditioned to CO2, they can be introduced into the environment. This is only a small study, but the hopes are that these results can be replicated to combat the worldwide problem of ocean acidification.
For a more in-depth look at ocean acidification, click here, or view this photo from NOAA: