Every year, humans spew billions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, like coal, oil and natural gas. The world’s oceans absorb some of it, but unfortunately this leads to a phenomenon known as ocean acidification. (Read more about the science behind ocean acidification here.)
Nature provides us with the perfect location to study this. In the crystal blue waters of Papua New Guinea, there are areas where CO2 seeps out of the seafloor naturally and causes the surrounding seawater to become more acidic. Scientists study these sites in order to catch a glimpse of what our oceans might look like in the future.
But what is the process from the seafloor to the lab bench? Let's walk through it together.