Please go to, and download or read Elizabeth Kolbert's article from the November 2006 New Yorker Magazine. From that please show the YouTube video
"The Acid Test". 21 minutes. And PLEASE see and show this film to your
adults/everyone: "A Sea Change" a film by Barbara Ettingger
Elizabeth Kolbert, Annals of Science, "The Darkening Sea," The New Yorker,
November 20, 2006, p. 66
We are inundated with references to Ocean Acidification. I believe it is
exceptionally well understood and still does not get anyone excited. As
Pogo said "We have met the enemy and he is us."
Find some way to act. There are now lots of labs that demonstrate the process. Some are simplechemistry and others more involved.
Oceanography and Biotechnology Teacher
It probably should be noted that the intertidal does see large swings in pH daily - This is a nice (perhaps I'm biased though) article on intertidal pH and the overall issue of ocean acidification along with some links at the bottom of the article. The science can be a little confusing - there are researchers who have found increased calcification with lower pH in some organisms. This is not to detract from the importance of the issue - just to point out that, like most science, the data is still being gathered and analyzed.
Dr. George I. Matsumoto
Senior Education and Research Specialist
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
7700 Sandholdt Road
Moss Landing, California 95039
Here is ocean acidification as explained by Vicki (Osis), I am quoting her here:
Ocean acidification is a drop in pH on that scale. Scientists report there has been a decrease of pH in all ocean waters from 8.25 to 8.14 since the onset of the Industrial Revolution. That change represents an increase of 30% in the hydrogen ion concentration. This is the biggest change to ocean pH in the last 20 million years. Like the magnitude scale of earthquakes, one unit on the pH scale reflects a change of a factor of 10. The 0.1 pH change means there are now 30 percent more hydrogen ions in the water.
Scientists also warn that unless we quickly reduce our C02 emissions the acidification will continue and we will experience an increase of .3 - .4 points on the pH scale. That would mean a 90-120%, other sources predict an increase of up to 140% increase. Without action to reduce C02 scientists warn that we can create an acid spike more intense than the earth has seen in the past 8,000,000 years. The change we are currently experiencing is happening too quickly and too intensely for ocean animals to adapt.
Source: Real Climate
Although ocean pH has not dropped into the acidic side of the pH scale, the change has been enough to disrupt shell formation in sea creatures as the carbonic acid chemically changes calcium carbonate to the point that shelled organisms can no longer utilize it. This is a threat to tiny, fragile-shelled zooplankters, as well as the microscopic larvae of shelled creatures including clams, mussels, crabs and oysters. The second problem is the acid may become 6 eventually become strong enough it will dissolve the shells of adult animals and become a threat to corals, as well as a many other economically important animals.
On Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 1:25 PM, Vicki Osis
Find a teaching activity for teaching ocean acidification here
Teaching Ocean Acidification.
Ocean acidification is defined as the drop in pH that occurs due to the absorption of carbon dioxide by ocean waters, C02 +H20 creates carbonic acid. The change in ocean pH we have already experienced is the biggest change to oceans in the past 20 million years and the change is happening so quickly marine organisms cannot adapt. The information from the teaching activity can be adapted for grades 5-12. Grades 5 -6 provides an introduction to plankton and its role in ocean food chains. Grades 8-12 can explore plankton and its role in food chains, plus learn about the problems ocean acidification is causing. Also included is a pH testing activity and a list of various student friendly energy conservation measures to reduce C02 emissions. The last piece is step-by-step outline of the chemistry of acidification that could be used with high school students.
If it does not open and I have that problem with my Mac computer....go to
the Å,downloadsË file and search for TeachAcidification.
It is a 7 page document.
Vicki Osis Retired Marine Education Specialist OSU Hatfield Center.
Ocean River Institute http://www.oceanriver.org/
12 Eliot Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
7 min Video: Rob on Winter Island Salem Sound with Ducks Saving the Ocean
and calling for a vacation from lawn care during the rainy season when green slime algae s hungriest.
Moir's Environmental Dialogs, Ocean River Shields of Achilles Internet Talk Radio
Episodes listing and descriptions (free on iTunes):
ORI all together now, sing along