Ocean acidification refers to the process by which carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere and then absorbed by the ocean. When water mixes with CO2, it forms carbonic acid, a by-product that changes the chemistry of the ocean and disrupts the life cycle of ocean animals. Harmful effects of ocean acidification are especially noticeable in near-shore environments where ocean life is highly concentrated. Newer, more cost-effective technology has allowed scientists to double down on monitoring efforts along shorelines. A spike in available data as well as rising global awareness around the damaging effects of fossils fuels has caused some ocean acidification experts to become cautiously optimistic that a solution can still be found.