Not Finding Nemo: How Climate Change Affects Marine Life

1591 words - 7 pages

Not Finding Nemo
A ghost to the human eye, a fight against an invisible force, that is climate change. As the dawn breaks, a whale will no longer find its food. A lobster will wake and find it a struggle to breathe. An underwater luminescent forest of coral will cease to exist. These are just a few of the causes of climate change. A force so powerful, it will take decades to reverse its scar on the ocean. This reaction to environmental change has never been seen before on earth at this heart-breaking pace or scale. Climate change is devastatingly altering the lives of many ocean creatures.
According to Webster’s dictionary, “climate change is the change in global climate patterns apparent from the mid-to-late 20th century and onwards attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuel.” There is stronger evidence now than there has been in the past 50 years that climate change is actually a fact. As of today, carbon dioxide levels have risen higher than they had in the past fifty years. Ninety percent of this change can be blamed on humans. The estimated increase of carbon dioxide levels from the nineteenth century and now is 112 (112 what??), and quickly increasing (“The basics: A brief Introduction to Climate Change”). The rate at which climate change is moving is faster than it has been in the past 2,000 years. Due to this fact, scientists have made several predictions. Floods and extreme weather, that usually occur every 100 to 500 years, will occur more often and cost countries around the world billions of dollars. Most people do not fully understand the effects that this rapidly changing climate has on our planet. The hotter the climate continues to get, the water will begin to evaporate more quickly, and which will leave the air approximately four percent more moist, which will lead to more intense storms. Another common effect of the warm air is the evaporation of the soil moisture, which could lead to a very severe drought. These are some common causes of climate change (“Climate change; The basics: A brief Introduction to Climate Change”).
Ocean acidification is a major issue that is caused by climate change. Ocean acidification occurs when carbon dioxide is absorbed in the ocean, which lowers the PH level. As the carbon dioxide dissolves in the water, carbonic acid is formed; which produces a higher acidity level (“Ocean Acidification”). A lot more factories are producing more and more carbon dioxide; which is entering and heating the air and ocean. Today, with the amount of factories and metropolitan areas, carbon dioxide is entering the ocean at an astonishing rate of one million tons per hour! That is ten times the natural rate. Because of this high level of carbon dioxide entering the ocean, the ocean is more acidic than it has ever been on record for more than 650,000 years! At this rate of absorption of carbon dioxide, by the end of the century, the ocean...

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