Ocean acidity

Oceans act as massive a sponge, soaking up the extra carbon dioxide (CO2) being produced by the industrialised world. This increases ocean acidity and changes the chemistry involved in the production of carbonates which are necessary for the formation of corals, mollusc shells and plankton. A decline in the production of plankton and corals may affect entire food webs and may ultimately result in negative impacts on fisheries. In addition, entire marine ecosystems that have a significant social and economic value to the Australian community, such as the Great Barrier Reef, may be negatively affected by increased ocean acidity.


Photo: Toni Cooper