Is ocean acidification the biggest threat from climate change?
- DiracLv 44 weeks agoFavorite Answer
I believe that ocean acidification is a profound threat, although I'm not sure I'd characterize it as the "biggest" threat from climate change. I think that the actual warming of the planet is the biggest threat, since it will have a major effect on human infrastructure, that was primarily designed for the climate of the mid-20th century.
However, it's hard to say just how big a threat ocean acidification is. All shell-building organisms in the ocean rely on the supersaturation of calcium carbonate in ocean water in order to build their shells. As carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean, it creates carbonic acid that lowers the pH of the ocean. Some of the carbonate atoms in the ocean react to form bicarbonate ions and as a result the supersaturation of carbonate ions goes down, inhibiting the ability of organisms to build shells. Since so many of the organisms in the ocean build shells, from the very small to the very large, this is a real danger.
You'll notice that several people in here try to deny this effect exists, one says "It’s the biggest climate lie and absolute scientific nonsense. Anyone with an intermediate knowledge of chemistry knows this is bogus." and another says "...that is fake science, there is no way the ocean can become acidic and that is a scientific fact." Of course this is a very real problem--not because the ocean will become acidic--its pH will remain over 7 in the basic range--but because of the effect on carbonate ion supersaturation. I think part of the problem may be that these people do not understand what the term "acidification" means in chemistry. It does NOT refer to turning something into an acid, in chemistry it means ADDING an acid to a solution ("titration with acid"). A solution is undergoing acidification when acid is added, regardless of what the pH ultimately becomes. See the American Chemical Society link for more details.
- Andrew SmithLv 73 weeks ago
I would have thought that the bigger risk is if the oceans warm and release carbon dioxide in consequence then we have a runaway process that cannot be controlled. I hope that I am wrong.
- 3 weeks ago
Only if you don't understand the ph table.
- $@!ar W!ndLv 63 weeks ago
This is the science on ocean acidification:
"It is important to note the dissolution of CO2 in water is governed by Henry’s Law, evidenced by the fact there is approximately 50 times more CO2 dissolved in the ocean than in the atmosphere at present. It is this vast mass of dissolved CO2 in
the ocean that holds the regulating power—not the relatively small amount of CO2
contained in the air.
Furthermore, the chemical reaction speeds involved in the dissolution of CO2
are high, as is the ocean circulation speed in the upper parts of the ocean. The ocean acidification hypothesis also ignores the presence of vast amounts of dissolved calcium in the ocean: the upper 200 m of ocean water contains enough dissolved calcium to bind all anthropogenic CO2 as precipitated calcium carbonate (in the ocean) without affecting the ocean’s pH (Segalstad 2014)."
The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
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- 4 weeks ago
Why do you keep spamming these questions? Yahoo is for people who have serious questions. BTW, it's against yahoo policy to steal accounts (you have a stolen account).
- 4 weeks ago
This is a special thing that makes fish die or people who drink the water of the sea or eat its fish.
- pasper2Lv 44 weeks ago
It’s the biggest climate lie and absolute scientific nonsense. Anyone with an intermediate knowledge of chemistry knows this is bogus.
- BrianLv 74 weeks ago
No. To many Cows and Vegetarian's farting Methane into our atomsphere. Methane is a heat trapping gas. Hence the warming Earth.
- Anonymous4 weeks ago
would depend on who you would ask .................