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Ocean Acidification: The Other Carbon Dioxide Problem

NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

This NOAA video discusses how the ocean absorbs the increased amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, thereby changing the pH and buffering action of the ocean. These changes in pH are impacting calcifying organisms, such as corals and shellfish, and related food chains and ecosystems.

Video length: 3:58 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b
Increased acidity of oceans and negative impacts on food chain due to increasing carbon dioxide levels
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7d

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Can be used in a chemistry, oceanography, marine biology, biology, ecosystem, environmental science unit on acids and bases/pH.

About the Science

  • The NOAA video discusses the causes of ocean acidification, ocean carbonate chemistry, sampling techniques, and impact of ocean acidification on marine food webs.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • The educator will need to provide context in which to embed this video. A basic pre-knowledge of acids, bases, and chemical formulas would be helpful for better understanding this video.
  • Teachers need to make clear that even though the process is called "ocean acidification" it does not mean that the ocean will become acid, but that the ocean, now slightly alkaline, has diminished carbonate buffering potential.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • This is a Flash .f4v download
  • Closed captioned text provided.

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