The ocean absorbs about 25% of the CO2 released into the atmosphere every year. As CO2 levels increase, so do the levels in the ocean.
Seawater chemistry is changing due to the rising amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. When CO2 dissolves in the water, the water becomes more acidic, creating imbalance in pH.
This natural buffer of Carbon Dioxide hasn’t been able to keep up with the emissions put into the air. The ocean absorbs the carbon, but it’s seeing drastic changes in its waters, including to the coral reefs.
With living species dependent on consistent pH ranges, the imbalance of carbon is leading to the bleaching of coral reefs. To make matters worse, coral reefs house most of the fish on the planet, and fish are being left vulnerable and homeless.
There’s also an issue of harmful algal blooms, where algae grow out of control due to pollution, while causing harm to people, fish, marine mammals, etc. Microscopic algae release toxins that kill fish and make shellfish dangerous to eat.
To learn more about ocean acidification, read on here.