Ocean acidification

In the past decade, the oceans absorbed around 25% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. Absorbed carbon dioxide reacts with seawater and changes the pH of the ocean. This process is known as ocean acidification. Observations in the open-ocean over the last 30 years have shown a clear trend of decreasing pH. The IPCC Fifth Assessment report found that there was a decrease in the surface ocean pH of 0.1 units since the start of the industrial revolution (1750). Changes in pH are linked to shifts in ocean carbonate chemistry that can affect the ability of marine organisms such as molluscs and reef-building corals, to build and maintain shells and skeletal material.