“Ocean Acidification and Its Effects on Marine Life” with Taro Takahashi (7 Mar 2015)

by | Jul 21, 2023 | Climate Change, Sustainable Future

Originally presented 7 Mar 2015

Dr. Taro Takahashi is the Ewing Lamont Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University. He is the Principal Investigator in Lamont’s Carbon Dioxide Research Group (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/pi/CO2/). Dr. Takahashi has been a world-renowned leader in understanding carbon dioxide in the ocean for more than five decades.


Abstract of today’s E2C talk:
Anthropogenic CO2 emitted into the atmosphere impacts not only on climate change, but also on marine ecosystems. Surface layer of the oceans has been slowly acidified as a result of absorbing atmospheric CO2, which has been rapidly increasing.  The acidification is primarily due to the formation of carbonic acid in seawater, and the surface ocean pH in temperate oceans has decreased from about 8.11 in 1990 to 8.07 in 2010 for the past 20 years.  This is an increase of about 10% (from 7.76 x 10-9 to 8.51 x 10-9 moles/liter) in the hydrogen ion concentration (H+).  Since H+ is involved in many aspects of biochemical reactions, its change has impacted on the health of many marine ecosystems including corals and plankton.  The recent progress made in field studies on ocean acidification, and in laboratory studies on the vulnerability of marine organisms will be reviewed and discussed.

                                                       Dr. Takahashi’s E2C presentation for this workshop

E2C participant Billy Goodman sent Dr. Takahashi an e-mail asking for clarification of maps that seemed to show a discrepancy in pH levels between winter and summer. Read Dr. Takahashi’s answer to this question.

Dr. Takahashi’s Previous E2C Presentations:

“Foundation of the Carbon Cycle Science: What We Know and What We Don’t” (Oct 2008)

“State of Carbon Cycle in 2009 on the Eve of the Copenhagen International Climate Conference: Challenge to Humanity” (Nov 2009) 

“Ocean Acidification: Recent Progress in Environmental Sensitivity Studies” (Oct 2013)


Selected Related Science Resources

[By co-incidence–and no relation to Michael J Passow–one leader in Ocean Acidification research is Dr. Uta Passow of the University of California at Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute. Here is the link to the work of her group:

Ocean Acificiation http://oceanacidification.msi.ucsb.edu/people/uta-passow/uta-passow

“CO2 causing oceans to acidify at ‘unprecdented’ rate, scientists warn” CNN 14 Nov 2013

“What Is Ocean Acidification” (NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory)

“Ocean Acidification” (National Geographic)

EGU 2011 GIFT Workshop — Ocean Acidification

Selected Classroom Activities

“The Carbon Cycle Game” (Windows to the Universe)

“Carbon Dioxide Sources and Sinks” (Windows to the Universe)

“Ocean Acidification: The Chemistry Is Less than Basic” (Windows to the Universe)

“What Is the Carbon Cycle?”

“Where in the World Is Carbon Dioxide?”

“Climate and Carbon Dioxide: Analyzing Their Relationship” (National Geographic education)

“The Basics of Ocean Chemistry: Carbon, Circulation, and Critters”

“Seawater Composition”

“Ocean Acidification Activities from UCSB”

Essential Principles and Concepts

Ocean Literacy           

Climate Literacy