Why Is It A Problem?

The ocean is capable of absorbing large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere; however, it takes 1,000 to 100,000 years for the entire ocean system to be buffered. The surface and deep ocean mix on a scale of 1,000 years and the deep ocean holds many carbonate organism shells that will dissolve in the presence of acidic solutions. It also eats away at the minerals essential to marine life such as oysters, lobsters, and coral reefs, as they use the minerals to build their shells and skeletons.

Along with this, the oceans buffer capacity is decreasing rapidly, and could decrease by 34% by 2100. Although the ocean is likely to still uptake more CO2 in the future, the proportion of anthropogenic carbon dioxide absorbed by the ocean will decrease.

The problem is that our oceans can’t keep up with the rate of carbon dioxide that we are emitting. Ocean acidification is often referred to as global warming’s equally evil twin.