The Ocean Acidification (OA) problem is referred to a reduction of the sea water pH caused primarily by the anthropogenic increasing uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere. There is a direct relationship between atmospheric CO2 and ocean pH: as CO2[atm]-uptake increases, the pH drops. Industrial activities have resulted in an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations from approximately 280 to 387 parts per million (ppm), with as much as 50% of the increase occurring in the last three decades. If CO2 continues to extensively dissolve into the seawater, it will cause a problem for the carbonate structure organisms that use carbonate to build their structures (acidification causes hydrogen ions to react with carbonate ions which mean carbonate ions number decreases). They will face issues to form their shells which will lead to their potential stop of growth, inability to repair their shells and in the end, it will cause them to die or eventually to extinct.
Archipelagos’ marine conservation team is carrying out a preliminary experimental project aiming to provide a better understanding of the impact of the ocean acidification at different sea water temperature on sea shells. In particular, we used two different pH 8.13 and 7.48 and two different temperature 25° and 6°C. In each jar (sampling unit=500mL) we put 30 g of Venus casina‘s shells broken down to pieces of diameter 25mm. The weight of the shells will be recorded after 30 days to see if after this really short period of time a correlation between pH and shells dissolution can be identified. Results of this project can also be used to raise awareness about over usage of fossil fuels and to suggest that renewable energy sources are a great way to help to recover our Earth.
Ante Aljinovic, University of Split, Croatia.