As we burn more fuels that emit carbon dioxide, the ocean absorbs more and more carbon. Learn how our marine ecosystem is changing and the dire consequences it has for us.
Since we started burning fossil fuels, the ocean has absorbed about half of all the carbon dioxide humans have put out. Hydrogen ions generated by more carbon dioxide make the ocean more acidic. In fact, our oceans are already more than 30% more acidic since we started burning fossil fuels at commercial scale. This is changing the chemistry of our seas. As a result, the shells and skeletons of clams, oysters and coral are becoming weaker. Whole coral reefs are dying off. This is severely hurting the ocean food chain, which ultimately erases a significant food source for the Earth’s population.