Part B: Ocean Acidification - A Risky Shell Game?
Ocean acidification can impact marine organisms in a variety of ways
Scientists are only beginning to do the research on how individual species of organisms might respond to increasing levels of ocean acidity as atmospheric levels of CO2 continue to rise. How will ocean acidification impact Earth's biodiversity? Will all species respond to ocean acidification in the same way? Will some species adapt and others not? To try and find answers to some of these questions, first watch the video "Demystifying Ocean Acidification and biodiversity." As you watch, take notes on how ocean acidification can affect different types of marine organisms.
If the video does not play, you can watch it here: Demystifying ocean acidification and biodiversity impacts | Global threats to biodiversity | Khan Academy
Share your list of how ocean acidification can affect different types of marine organisms with the class.
Next, read how scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Marine Laboratories are trying to answer some of the puzzling questions of ocean acidification's effects on biodiversity.
- Read the Oceanus article Ocean Acidification: A Risky Shell Game. This article reviews the results of lab investigations on the effects of increasing concentrations of atm CO2 on several different species of marine organisms.
- Read carefully paragraphs 4 and 5 to understand how they set up their experimental tanks.
- Make a 4-column table in your lab notebook with the following headings:
- name of organism
- temperate or tropical environment (if available)
- concentration of atm CO2 exposure (e.g., 400 ppm, 600 ppm, 900 ppm, 2850 ppm)
- responses to increased acidity