Although ocean or marine pollution has a long history, meaningful international laws were enacted only in the twentieth century to deal with it. Concerns over marine pollution were expressed at several United Nations conventions regarding sea and ocean legislation in the early 1950s. Many scientists believed that the oceans are so vast that they have immense potential to dilute and hence making the pollution harmless.
Marine pollution drew international media attention after the 1967 crash of an oil tanker named Torrey Canyon and the 1967 Santa Barbara oil spill off the coast of California. Marine pollution was much discussed at the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. A treaty was signed in the same year to prevent marine pollution from dumping of waste and other substances into the sea, also known as the London Agreement. The London Accord did not ban marine pollution, rather it produced two black and grey lists under which banned substances were blacklisted and controlled substances were put on the gray list by national authorities.
Long and Short Essay on Ocean Acidification in English
These ocean acidification essay have been written in simple language to convey the facts on marine pollution.
After going through the essay you would be able to know that what ocean acidification is and the signs of ocean acidification; impacts or effects of ocean acidification and measures that should have been taken to lessen it.
You can use the essay on ocean acidification in your school assignments on ocean acidification or in discussions on the subject with your classmates and teachers.
You will also get aware about the things that are not good for the health of oceans and other water bodies.
Ocean Acidification Essay – 1 (200 Words)
Oceanography is the science that studies oceans for their physical, chemical, geological and biological aspects. Knowledge of oceans is fundamental, because according to accepted principles, the seas are the center of the origin of life on earth.
Since their origin, humans have had relationships with the oceans. Their first approach to understand the maritime world as a source of food and means of communication was practical and utilitarian.
The most recent research in oceanography has focused on the effects of global climate change on the dynamics of oceans. Now the ocean water is also becoming acidic due to climate change and human activities. Acidicity is increasing in the ocean. Organic acid lowers the pH level of water, thereby increasing acidicity.
The carbon dioxide emitted from combustion of fossil fuels is also absorbed by the seas and oceans. The sea and oceans are losing its biology due to the turbulence. Climate change, the warming of our oceans, rising sea level and increasing acidification are the reality that threatens our food security and the entire life of the earth.
A large part of the Great Wall of Australia’s coral reef has already suffered significant damage. This subject is a great matter of concern and through debates and movements; it must discussed world-wide.
Ocean Acidification Essay – 2 (300 Words)
The oceans are getting warmer due to increasing global temperature. The acidicity of ocean water is increasing; marine organisms like corals and oysters are increasingly facing difficulties to survive.
71 percent of our Earth’s upper surface, i.e. 362 million square kilometers of land, is always submerged in water, 90 percent of which is divided between three oceans – the Atlantic, Pacific and the Indian. Of all the water available on earth, 97 percent of it is in the womb of these three oceans. Half of all the animals that live on Earth live in these oceans. It can be inferred from this that how wide the oceans have importance for life and climate on earth.
Coral is a thermometer of the increasing disease of the oceans. Richard Spinrod, deputy director general of the US Department of Ocean Research, said that the amount of carbon dioxide gas our oceans have already tied to their vast waters is equivalent to 38 thousand giga tons – 50 times more than atmospheric carbon dioxide. One Giga ton is equal to one billion ton.
Spinrod said that even then the oceans are digesting twenty million tons of new carbon dioxide every day. The result is that the carbonic acid formed by the chemical reaction between carbon dioxide and water has made the water of the oceans one-third more acidic, that is, than it was a hundred years ago. This is the main reason for the death of aquatic animals like corals, oysters etc.
The host of the World Ocean Conference, Indonesia, wants that the seas and oceans, like forests, should also be considered as accumulators of carbon dioxide. In this way, those countries that have a long coastline and wide oceanic watershed should also get the financial benefits of being helpful in preventing climate change.
Ocean Acidification Essay – 3 (400 Words)
According to a study published in the journal ‘Science’, increasing sediments of the oceans may start dissolving sediments that form coral reefs by the end of this century. Based on this study, the team of researchers has predicted changes in the corals, including several factors, including the current rate of coral formation and sediment dissolution.
Effect of Ocean Acidification on Coral Reef
Coral reefs are very sensitive to acidification of oceans and are hugely threatened by it.
What is a Coral Reef?
The coral reefs are formed by the formation of calcium carbonate of organisms called coral polyps, as well as carbonate sediment that has been accumulating on these organisms for thousands of years. The corals are hard-lime-like primitive organisms. Their biological name is Cilentrata polyps. Within the hard surface of these corals, the colored algae Zooxanthellae are found in symbiotic relationship. Coral reefs are commonly found in abundance in the warm and shallow waters, especially in the Pacific Ocean, in the proximity of many warm or subtropical islands.
The coral reefs are considered to be the hotspot of the world’s marine biodiversity and are also called marine rainforests.
The Following Conditions are Helpful for the Construction of Corals:
The corals are mainly found in the tropical areas, as they require a temperature of 20 ° C – 21 ° C to survive.
Corals are found at lower depths because there is a lack of sunlight and oxygen at greater depths.
Clean and non-depressant water is necessary for the development of corals because the corals have their faces closed and they die.
Sea currents are beneficial for the corals because they provide food for the corals. For this reason less corals are found in closed seas.
The coral reefs are formed by the formation of calcium carbonate of organisms called coral polyps, as well as carbonate sediment that has been accumulating on these organisms for thousands of years.
Ocean Acidification and Challenges for the Survival of Coral Reefs
Oceanic acidification is defined as a continuous decrease in the pH of seawater. After entering the oceans, carbon dioxide combines with water to form carbonic acid, which increases the acidity of the ocean and lowers the pH of sea water. Oceanic acidification prevents coral organisms from forming their rigid skeletons. This is caused by the oceans absorbing large amounts of human-generated carbon dioxide emissions.
When any change in temperature, light or nutrition causes stress on the corals; they expel the symbiotic algae Zooxanthellae that inhabit their tissues, causing the coral to turn white. This phenomenon is called coral bleaching. At present, the process of coral construction is also in danger. The occurrence of coral bleaching was observed in the corals of Lakshadweep in 1998.
So, Ocean Acidification is not good for the life of Coral Reefs on earth, thus disturbing the balance of life in ocean because Coral Reefs are the hotspot of marine biodiversity, also called marine rainforests. In order to save the marine biodiversity, we must work towards the reduction and prevention of Ocean Acidification.
Ocean Acidification Essay – 4 (500 Words)
When carbon dioxide dissolves in ocean water, a chemical reaction causes the formation of organic acids (H2CO3), which increases the amount of hydrogen ions in the water, which increases the acidity of the ocean. PH value of water decreases. This process is called ocean acidification.
In other words, when there is a change in the basic chemistry of the ocean due to continuous decrease in the sea pH value, it is called ocean acidification.
Absorption of carbon dioxide by the ocean helps reduce the climate impact of carbon dioxide emissions, but at the same time negatively impacts the pH value of the ocean.
Effects of Ocean Acidification
1: Effect of Acidification on the World’s Oceans
Estimates of future carbon dioxide levels based on trade as a normal emissions scenario indicate that ocean surface waters may have increased acidity levels by about 150 percent by the end of this century.
2: Effect of Ocean Acidification on the Sea Life
Research suggests that ocean acidification will be a driver for substantial changes in ocean ecosystems in this century. An organism can withstand fluctuations in various pH levels during its lifetime. However, a more acidic environment harms marine species such as mollusks, corals and some varieties of plankton. The shells and skeletons of all these are less dense or weak.
3: Effect of Ocean Acidification on Human
Changes in marine ecosystems will also have a significant impact on human society, which also depends on the goods and services provided by these ecosystems. Following are the effects of ocean acidification on human:
Food: Mollusks like oysters and mussels losses by ocean acidification will cause food insecurity. It is estimated that the value of mollusk losses by ocean acidification will be more than US$ 100 billion.
Coastal Conservation: Marine ecosystems such as the coral reef protect the shorelines from the devastating action of storm reefs and cyclones, which shelter the only habitable land for many island nations. This protective function of reefs prevents loss of life, property and erosion.
Carbon Storage and Climate Regulation: The ability of the ocean to absorb CO2 decreases as ocean acidification increases. More acidic oceans are less effective in mitigating climate change.
Ways to Protect from Ocean Acidification
Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reduction: Today, we use fossil fuels for transportation, industry, and households. In recent times, the consumption of renewable energy resources is increasing and large sum of money is being invested in it but we need to do more, as this is the only way to reduce the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Ocean Management: Since species and ecosystems are already vulnerable and threatened; the protected areas, laws and policies that aim to protect those species must be established and enforced. In this way, the health of marine biodiversity can be improved.
When people are aware of things happening in their environment, they are more likely to respond positively to rules, regulation, and policies that aim to correct things that are wrongly done. Individuals need to find and share information from reliable sources. People should invest in education and provide information on these environmental issues, and everyone should be a part of its solution.
Long Essay on Ocean Acidification – 5 (600 words)
71 % of the Earth is covered with water, 97 % of it is found in the seas and oceans, and only 3 % of it is potable, out of which 2.4 % is deposited in the glaciers of North and South Pole and only 0.6 % of the water is in rivers, lakes and ponds. Our ocean acts like a carbon sink that absorbs a quarter of the carbon dioxide generated by humans which causes changes in the basic chemistry of the ocean.
What is Ocean Acidification?
When carbon dioxide dissolves in ocean water, the chemical reaction produces organic acids H2CO3, which increases the amount of hydrogen ions in the water, which increases the acidity of the ocean and that of sea water. This process is called ocean acidification. In other words, when there is a change in the basic chemistry of the ocean due to continuous decrease in the pH value, it is called ocean acidification. Absorption of carbon dioxide by the ocean helps reduce the climate impact of carbon dioxide emissions, but at the same time negatively impacts the pH value of the ocean.
Concept and Importance of pH Scale
The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral. A pH less than 7 is acidic. A pH greater than 7 is basic. The pH value of ocean water affects marine ecosystems and food chains if sustained unnaturally. Sea creatures such as coral, echinoderms, crustaceans and mollusks are severely affected.
The Causes of Ocean Acidification
Ocean chemistry is constantly changing due to the following reasons:
High concentration of carbon dioxide in ocean water
Use of fossils fuel
Change in land use
Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the ocean
Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
Chemical reactions are caused by high concentration of hydrogen ions
Reduction of carbonate ions
Loss of Biodiversity
Changes in Biogas Production Techniques
Lack of environmentally friendly laws and regulations
Plastic – as a Main Source of Pollution in Oceans
Sea or ocean debris is mainly waste thrown by humans that floats or swings in the sea. 80 % of marine debris is plastic, an ingredient that has been accumulating very rapidly since World War II. The plasticity in the seas can weigh up to million metric tons. Discarded plastic bags and other plastic waste that enters the seas are a threat to wildlife and the fisheries industry. This threatens the aquatic life trapping, breathlessness and ingestion.
Solution of the Problem
Marine pollution is often difficult to control because pollution transcends international borders, making it difficult to make and implement regulations. Perhaps the most important strategic policy to reduce marine pollution is education. There are two ways to reduce this overall level of pollution. Firstly either to reduce the human population, or find a way to reduce the ecological footprint left by a common human. The second way is for humans to spread less pollution personally. This requires social and political will, as well as to create awareness so that more people respect the environment and harm it less.
Most anthropogenic pollution enters the ocean. Byrne Jenson wrote in his article, “anthropogenic pollution can decrease the biodiversity and productivity of marine ecosystems, thereby reducing and depleting human seafood resources”. Most people are unaware of the harmful effects of sources of marine pollution and therefore fewer steps can be taken to deal with this situation. In order to make the public aware of all the facts, intensive research is needed to give full details of the situation. And then this information should be conveyed to the public.