Tackling the effects of ocean acidification as a result of increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere
Ever since the world industrial revolution in the 1800s, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has increased. While persistently a background concern for developing nations and corporations, the recent influx in CO2 emissions leading to ocean acidification has brought the issue of ocean acidification to the forefront of UN concerns. Specifically, as oceans absorb a third of human-created CO2 emissions (22 million pounds daily), this influx has decreased ocean acidity by a margin of .1 pH units over the past 200 years. Although seemingly insignificant, at the rate at which CO2 is being emitted annually, scientists predict that by the end of the century, ocean pH will lower by another 0.5 units. This decrease in pH has and will continue wreak havoc on marine environments. Specifically, when the pH level decreases, so does the concentration of carbonate ions and carbonate minerals, which are both necessary biologically for the marine life. The acidification of oceans mainly affects marine wildlife as a result of the formation of carbonic acid near the surface of the water after CO2 is absorbed into the ocean. This carbonic acid hinders the growth of shell-forming marine life such as oysters, lobsters, shrimp, corals, in addition to planktonic organism, and certain species of fish. As many of these species make up the base of the marine food chain, if they go extinct, then the global commercial fishing and tourism industries will fall apart as well, in some cases causing death from starvation. Even though both the UNFCCC and hundreds of science academies across the world demand a 50% decrease in CO2 emissions by 2050, little progress has been made. In an effort to restore peace to the marine ecosystems, their food chains, and the general environment, in this forum we will identify ways to reduce CO2 production and stagnate ocean acidification.
- What national, individual and regional approaches can be made to combat rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere?
- Who is responsible for decreasing the amount of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere?
- What has the United States Environmental Protection Agency done to address ocean acidification?
- What UN action has been made to combat ocean acidification?
- What are ways in which CO2 emissions released into the air can be disposed?
- What is the correlation between ocean acidification and climate change?
- What UN action has been made to control the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere?
- What are incentives for developing and developed countries to protect the ocean from CO2 emissions?
- What actions have already been taken by your country in alleviating ocean acidification?
- How effective have UN actions been in alleviating ocean acidification?