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The Consequences of the Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification is a matter of severe concern nowadays because the human-caused threats present in the current time are significant for the world’s oceans and the life on Earth. As it is known, the world ocean occupies more than half of the planet’s territory, meaning that the issues that threaten the ocean’s life can be dangerous for the life of the entire world. This paper aims to explore the phenomena of ocean acidification and define human-caused threats to the health of the world ocean and the corresponding consequences. The world ocean is significant for life on Earth, including the life of human society, meaning that protecting it from acidification is one of the most crucial tasks of humanity.

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First, it is vital to discuss why the ocean matters and why people should put more effort into protecting it from acidification and other human-caused threats. According to Turley et al., the world ocean plays a central part in regulating the climate weather on the planet (1). More than 90% of the energy of extra heat stored on the planet has been taken by the ocean, and various human activities make the ocean take an additional 25% of the extra carbon emitted (Turley et al. 1). Without these ocean’s functions, the air temperature would increase much more significantly, and the levels of carbon in the atmosphere would be much higher (Turley et al. 1). In other words, the world ocean plays a highly significant role in the planet’s life, and any threats to its life threaten the planet’s health.

However, the processes described in the previous section lead to severe negative consequences. The amount of the extra heat energy absorbed by the ocean causes the increase of the rate of sea-level rise, and the ocean loses oxygen critical to life (Turley et al. 2). Moreover, as the circulation and stratification of the ocean change, its rates of absorbing heat and carbon might reduce as well (Turley et al. 3). Everything mentioned above negatively affects the lives of many marine organisms, decaying the ocean’s health and slowly destroying its life.

Furthermore, acidification has significant consequences for the marine ecosystems of the world ocean. These include various biological impacts, such as changes in organisms’ physiology and population dynamics, altered communities and ecosystems, and more (Doney et al. 83). Ocean acidification and other environmental stresses related to climate changes threaten many valuable services that the ocean can provide to human society, including fishery, shoreline protection, and aquaculture (Doney et al. 84). Therefore, ocean acidification is dangerous not only for the ocean itself and the planet’s health but also for the people who live on it.

Overall, the significance of the world ocean is evident, meaning that humanity should put all possible efforts into protecting the world ocean. First, the world ocean plays a significant role in the planet’s life, and its acidification leads to critical life issues on Earth. Second, the human-caused threats to the ocean negatively affect the lives of marine ecosystems, putting various marine organisms at risk. Finally, the world ocean’s functions are precious for human society, meaning that its acidification can be dangerous for people. Ocean acidification is the concern of all humanity, and people should do everything in their power to protect it, including urgent reduction of gas emissions and promotion of the development of an ocean observing system that would be sustainable and effective.

Works Cited

Doney, Scott C., et al. “The Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Ecosystems and Reliant Human Communities.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources, vol. 45, 2020, pp. 83-112.

Turley, Carol, et al. “Why the Ocean Matters in Climate Negotiations.” COP26 Universities Network Briefing, pp. 1-12.

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