By Izzy Avedisian, High Tech High North County Senior Intern
Oceans, bays, lakes, rivers, and other sources of water are being weakened and nearly destroyed by the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Understanding the changing chemistry of the oceans and the impacts of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems requires the knowledge on the use of fossil fuels, deforestation, and how land is being used. Ocean acidification is the change in the chemistry of ocean water brought about by absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The changing acidity of the oceans threaten to throw off the delicate chemical balance upon which marine life depends on for survival. The change in the pH levels are also creating conditions in which new diseases and bacteria can form. Due to the rapid growth of the diseases and bacteria, animals aren’t able to quickly adapt leading to higher mortality rate.
Reducing the carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions in cities, is a big step towards slowing down the acidification process. The carbon footprint of the average household in the United States is 48.5 tons of CO2 per year. Using fossil fuels to power up cars and homes are where emissions begin to add up. A way that an individual can help this situation is to change to a fuel efficient vehicle, such as hybrids and electric cars. You can also find different modes of transportation like biking, walking, or carpooling with others. There is so much more that people can do to improve their carbon footprint and all it takes is recognizing what is harming the earth’s largest resource.