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        What Is Ocean Acidification?

        Explore how atmospheric pollution affects the chemistry of the world's oceans in this video from NOVA: Lethal Seas. The burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, some of which is absorbed into the oceans. Animations illustrate how CO2 reacts with water to form carbonic acid, which releases hydrogen ions and increases the water's acidity. Over the last 40 years, average ocean acidity has increased about 5% every decade and such changes in ocean chemistry affects living things. For example, ocean acidification reduces the availability of carbonate, which is necessary for the formation of shells for creatures, such as oysters.

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