Effects of Ocean Acidification

On Gastropods & Shellfish

How is Carbon Dioxide affecting shells?

Shells are composed primarily of calcium carbonate. When calcium carbonate came in contact with acids a chemical reaction occurs in which a Hydrogen atom is added and a new acid is made called carbonic acid which inhibits the formation of calcium carbonate used by gastropods, corals and shellfish.

Did you know?...

Ocean Acidification could destroy all our coral reefs by as early as 2050. It also has the potential to disrupt other ocean ecosystems, fisheries, habitats and even entire oceanic food chains.

Some key organisms that are affected by ocean acidification...

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What is Carbonic Acid?...

When carbon dioxide dissolves in this ocean, carbonic acid is formed. This leads to higher acidity, mainly near the surface, which has been proven to inhibit shell growth in marine animals and is suspected as a cause of reproductive disorders in some fish.

Ocean acidification

What happened with our prac?...

When Calcium Carbonate (we used an egg) and an acid (in this case we used Vinegar) are combined in a closed environment over a period of time it causes the shell of the egg to break down. We were simulating what would happen to gastropods and shellfish in the ocean from the effects of rising Ocean Acidification levels. After two weeks the shell had completely shed from the main insides of the egg and calcium carbonate foam had formed on the surface of the sollution. Through this experiment we were able to simulate what would happen to marine life if the oceans acidification levels rose to a dangerous amount.

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