Ocean Acidification: An Introduction

Ocean, horizon, and clouds over the Gulf of Mexico.

Ocean acidification is the ongoing decrease in ocean pH caused primarily by the ocean’s taking up excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Other impacts related to climate change (increased sea level rise, coastal flooding and extreme weather events) often receive more attention, but the acidification of the Earth’s oceans is well documented and is a major concern for the marine science community. This 4-page fact sheet written by Joshua Patterson and Lisa Krimsky and published by the UF/IFAS Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, School of Forest Resources and Conservation is the first in a series that addresses ocean acidification in Florida. It specifically explains the changes that are occurring to the chemistry of our coastal and oceanic waters because of elevated carbon dioxide levels. Additional publications address potential environmental, economic, and social implications for Florida.