Ocean acidification is the change in seawater chemistry due to the absorption of increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air from fossil fuels and deforestation. Globally, ocean acidity has already increased by 30% compared with pre-industrial times over 200 years ago. However, ocean acidification conditions are more variable along the coast and on coral reefs than in the open ocean.
Studies show ocean acidification is already affecting the physiology and behaviour of marine animals and plants, creating both winners and losers, and ecosystem changes. Coral reefs are considered particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification, because their whole ecosystems depend on the carbonate skeletons of corals for their structure.
Measuring and predicting the impact of ocean acidification is not trivial, because baseline data from pre-industrial times are sparse and there are few places on earth that have not already been affected.
From the field to the lab, AIMS scientists conduct ground-breaking research on ocean acidification and its effects on coral reef organisms and ecosystems.