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10th Grade Chemistry

The Ocean Acidification Crisis


Sarah Mola, Matthew Boyd, Ronald Douglas, Zoey Roman Baumstier

Introduction
The Ocean is a beautiful thing we are lucky to have on earth but if we keep doing what
we are doing we will destroy it. We are poisoning the ocean, the animals and in result ourselves.
Ever since humans have gotten access to fossil fuels the ocean state has been slowly degressing.
From the increasing amount of trash in the ocean to the dying of animal species, to the slowly
decreasing ph of the water.

Why?
One of the things that will kill
off the ocean first is not the trash, but
the steadily decreasing ph of the
ocean.The regular oceanic ph level
should be an average 8.2. The Ph is 8.2
and not 7 because the animals in the
ocean need a slightly basic ocean to
survive. Over the last few years it has
been rising in acidity at a rate of 25%.
We are turning the ocean into an acid pool. The reason the ocean is becoming more acidic is
because of the CO2 we release into the atmosphere. When we release it into the atmosphere it
gets into the water then a chemical reaction happens. The Carbon dioxide plus water and
carbonate ion react to create 2 bicarbonate ions. This in turn raises the ph level in the water
making it harder for coral to survive, fish to find food, and sea animals to thrive.
The Ocean is a main source of resource for many things, like food and hydration, which are
necessary to survive, ecosystem, and weather. Without the Ocean we lose all the sea animals
which gets rid of an entire section of the food chain. We lose a huge factor in our weather
system (rain, wind, temperature), and a beautiful part of our planet.
Testing
To test our theory, A group of us took 4 samples of
bay water and Isolate them in bottles for testing.
The first test included us using ph indicator strips to
check the ph of the bay water. After taking the ph
we tested to get the exact amount of Carbon dioxide
in the water. The CO2 measurement technique

makes use of a colorimetric CO2 test, drop count titration/Sodium hydroxide/ Phenolphthalein,
used originally for measuring the amount of dissolved CO2 in freshwater aquariums. The test is
done by determining the number of drops required to turn a water sample the proper shade of
pink. First we filled the mixing bottle to the 15ml mark with the water sample. Then after adding
one drop of phenolphthalein indicator to the mixture, you add drop by drop the sodium
hydroxide solution. Count the drops as you put them into the mixture and after a while if is
acidic it will turn pink.
What We Found
After testing them both we came to the decision that the average ph of the bay water
averages to about a ph of 6 when it should be 7. IN comparison to the Ocean which is naturally a
ph of ~8 (slightly basic) but is currently moving towards the 7s. We Then calculated the amount
of Carbon dioxide in the water, which we found to be around ~ 80 mg/l. This could mean many
things because the ocean is slightly basic, so currently rather than turning acidic the ocean is
moving towards a ph neutral position.
What Now
After these results, we realised this could mean an acidic future for the ocean. Even though the
ocean is turning more neutral rather than acidic you can still currently see the effects of the
Biocarbonate Ions in the ocean. The habitat in the most danger are the reefs. Part of the reefs are
dying out in neutral water this could mean faster die out in acidic water.
What Can We Do
So what can we do? We can start by educating ourselves, and not only ourselves but the
younger generation. Its as simple as using less, therefore, producing less plastic, or producing
less waste by reusing, and recycling, Things that have been proposed. But If we keep doing what
we're doing it can only get worse. So the time to act is now!
Conclusion

The world around us is constantly changing and its up to us to make sure its for the
better. We are currently changing it for the worse, so now we have to rev