- Increasing amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are being absorbed at the sea surface. When this CO2 enters the ocean it rapidly goes through a series of chemical reactions which lowers the pH of the surface seawater driving the water along the scale toward acidity.
- Models suggest about a 30% decrease in surface pH (an increase in acidity) and a 16% decrease in carbonate ion concentration since 1750. This has been confirmed by long term observations.
- The rate of change in pH is faster than anything experienced in the last 55 million years and is causing concern for marine ecosystems and species.