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Ocean Accidification and The Global Warming Effects on Marine Life

written by: AlyssaAst•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 8/15/2009

Global warming affects the ocean causing changes in marine life. The global warming effects on marine life are altering the natural state of many of the inhabitants of the ocean.

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    Marine Life

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    As the temperatures of the planet begin to rise, many aspects of the environment begin to change. This rising in temperatures is known as global warming. Global warming can cause hazardous effects to numerous inhabitants of the planet, on of these being marine life. The global warming effects on marine life are causing many of the oceans inhabitants to struggle for survival. If the temperatures in the ocean remain elevated for too long, there can be serious complications to marine life, and the entire planet.

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    Ocean Acidification

    One result from global warming on marine life is ocean acidification. As greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, they eventually mix with water creating carbonic acid. As of 2006, the carbonic acid levels in the ocean have increased but 30 percent. The carbonic acid causes the ocean acidifications levels to rises. This can cause many problems throughout marine life.

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    Marine Life

    The increase acidity levels in the ocean can cause many organisms in the ocean to struggle to survive. Many organisms, including crustaceans and mollusks, are extremely sensitive to changes in the oceans pH levels. The carbonic acid in the oceans water caused by global warming does not allow the “marine calcifies" of the ocean to properly build their shells and survive.

    If ocean levels become too acidic, these organisms can actually be affected in another way. High acidity levels in the ocean can cause the shells on the organisms to dissolve. This will most likely result in death for many of the creatures. These organisms are food for numerous creatures living in the ocean.

    Carbonic acid causes another concern for marine life. This acid can begin to build up in the body fluids of many species living in the ocean. Among these species are squids and many fish. If this build up occurs, the species will have reproduction issues along with growth complications and respiration issues.

    The full extent of the global warming effects on marine life still remains unknown. Scientific studies are continuously being conducted to fully investigate the effects global warming can have on marine life.

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    References

    “Ocean Acidification" Time for Change

    “Global Warming Threatens Marine Life" By Jim Lobe TWN

    Photo: “Whale Tails 3" By MrK001 stock.xchng