What is Ocean Acidification? Ways to Prevent It
As we all know, our ocean faces various threats that are man-made. From noise pollution, garbage, oil spills, and many more. However, there is one thing that is constantly wreaking havoc on Earth’s waters: ocean acidification. What is ocean acidification? What are the ways to prevent it?
Ocean acidification, just like with another phenomenon, has a great impact not only on our marine life but also on us humans. To get the right idea of what ocean acidification is all about, we will discuss it in detail down below. So, grab your pens and pencils and jot down some of the most important details you can see to help the ocean redeem what it was once.
What is Ocean Acidification?
For almost two centuries now, the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has increased dramatically due to the industrial revolution. However, due to the burning of fossil fuels and the takeover of all the earth's landmasses, it took a great hit on the pH level of the Earth’s atmosphere. As a result, the ocean is absorbing right around 30 to 35% of carbon dioxide, and when this absorption increases, so does the level of the ocean.
On a side note, Ocean acidification is sometimes called the evil twin of climate change. When the ocean waters absorb carbon dioxide, there is a various chemical reaction that leads to an increased concentration of hydrogen ions. When there’s an increase in hydrogen ions on our ocean waters, it becomes more acidic, and the level of carbonate ions decreases too or is less likely abundant than it used to be.
Carbonate ions are one of the most important components for seashells and skeletons; they are building blocks. Without enough carbonate ions in our ocean, it may be relatively hard for calcium carbonate to rely on species to calcify, such as clams, oysters, sea urchins, deep-sea corals, and other calcareous planktons.
Ocean acidification has been quite the struggle over the years as it can’t be felt from the outside, rather from the inside. However, as various organizations tend to cover up or alleviate some of the damage caused by ocean acidification, it may be hard to recover from this. Climate change is also one of the bigger problems humans have to face.
How to Prevent Ocean Acidification?
There are plenty of ways to prevent or reduce ocean acidification. Of course, one of the best ways is to limit carbon pollution. Although it can’t be stopped purposely as a large part relies on carbon, there are still plenty of ways to prevent it. Here are some of them:
Reduce Carbon Footprint
Although we’re not saying skip eating meat entirely, let's just say have a good balance between eating fruits and veggies along with meat. Did you know that livestock farming is one of the biggest greenhouse gas threats than any other threats in the world? They can cover up smoke from transportation in the world, and still, they’re far ahead.
Livestock production is one of the biggest contributors to climate change because of the grain production to provide for all the livestock food sources. In addition, it requires massive quantities of pesticides, fuel, fertilizers, land, and water.
Driving less or using bikes is a good way to minimize your carbon footprint and make you fit. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone, right? So, what way to reduce carbon footprint is to be a healthier version of yourself, eat less meat, and go for walks and bikes. In this way, you are helping the earth recover in your little way.
Minimize Energy Used at Home
One of the most efficient things to do at home is to make sure your house is well and properly insulated. Not only does it save you money, but it will also conserve energy. You should opt for appliances like bulbs, microwaves, dryers, washing machines, and all sorts that have energy-saving features. If you have extra space in your backyard, compost your waste, make something out of it, and grow vegetables and fruits in your garden.
Reduce Plastic Use
Always go for renewable stuff such as bringing your reusable containers and, as much as possible, limit yourself in using plastic cups or straw whenever you dine out. Always go for reusable ones rather than disposable ones. Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose, and limiting plastic use has to be one of the best choices.
Treating, heating, and pumping of water take out a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. So, why not conserve water or use it efficiently if you would like to use it. Always go for eco-friendly products that break down. As we all know, what comes out of our drains goes out to the rivers and lakes.
This is by far one of the most important ones when it comes to preventing ocean acidification. Educating not only the young ones but also the older ones gives them a better idea of why some of the things they are doing are affecting the Earth.
Furthermore, there are already multiple organizations paving the way about this matter. It is our duty to disseminate this valuable information to the public if we are here to reduce ocean acidification.
Ocean acidification is quite a problem in terms of global catastrophe. Fortunately, there are still ways to prevent this disaster from wreaking havoc for the years to come. Although we are already suffering from ocean acidification, it is not too late to recover what is left. Let us educate everyone, eat less meat, cycle more, and reduce carbon footprint. That way, we can have an amazing world and the next generations to come.
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