The Ocean is the body of salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the Earth’s surface and contains 97% of all the world’s water.
Despite its vast size, the ocean has yet to be fully mapped and explored. This large body of water plays an important role in the climate, weather patterns, and the food supply of the world’s animals and plants.
Scientists also have found that the ocean is more acidic than it was for millions of years, a phenomenon known as ocean acidification. It is a consequence of the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.
It is a dangerous and unpredictable occurrence because it can affect the way many of our marine species live. It will affect the survival of some organisms and possibly cause them to go extinct.
In addition, it can cause changes in the behavior of other creatures. For example, fishes that normally can hear and flee from noise have a hard time doing so when the water becomes more acidic. Clownfish, which are predatory fish, have been known to stray further from their homes and have trouble “smelling” their way back when the water gets more acidic.
Some scientists have also found that the seawater’s pH is changing at an accelerating rate. It has already dropped 0.1 units since 2000 and could drop another 0.3 units by the end of this century. This will make the ocean more acidic than it has ever been, making it more difficult for fishes to live.
While the ocean is currently at a neutral pH (around 7), this is expected to change in the future, as more carbon dioxide dissolves into it. If we keep adding CO2 at current rates, the pH of the ocean may decrease by 120 percent or more by the end of this century.
This means that fish will not be able to survive in the acidified waters and may become increasingly vulnerable to diseases. In some cases, a lower pH can even lead to death.
For example, when a fish’s blood pH drops below 2.3, it will have to expend extra energy to excrete the excess acid from its system.
Likewise, some shelled animals, like corals, will find it difficult to build their skeletons in the more acidic waters because they cannot extract the calcium ions needed to form their shells. The same is true for other organisms, such as shellfish and mussels.
When an animal is living in an acidified environment, it will have to use more energy for activities such as reproduction or hunting. The acidic environment will also make it harder for them to get the nutrients they need, especially for their food.
Because of this, some species will likely decrease or go extinct, leaving the remaining ones to fend for themselves. The overall ecosystem will be altered in a number of ways that will impact all life on the planet. This is why it is important for scientists to monitor the condition of the ocean as a whole, not just in a few different species at a time.