Tracking Ocean Acidification

Preview When we use fossil fuels to power our cars, homes, and businesses, we put heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
(Sarah Leen/National Geographic Society)

Fossil fuels that power our cars, homes, and businesses add carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. The ocean absorbs large portions of this CO2 and acts as a buffer against climate change. But, Dr. Francisco Chavez of Monterey Bay Research Institute points out that as the ocean absorbs more CO2, the water becomes more acidic--a change that could impact entire food webs.