Ocean acidification impacts are occurring across the globe, from small islands to large continents and from the tropics to the poles, according to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). UNESCO and its partners have launched a website that brings together information on ocean acidification, which is also described as the “other carbon dioxide problem.”
The ocean absorbs 24 million tons of carbon dioxide per day, contributing to an acidification rate more than ten times faster than at any time in the last 55 million years, according to UNESCO. When the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere, chemical reactions decrease the pH of seawater, a process known as acidification. UNESCO also draws attention to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ‘Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability,’ which highlights that interactions among drivers, such as ocean acidification and global warming, lead to complex impacts for ecosystems and species.