Ocean Acidification (OA) is a term used to describe significant changes to the chemistry of the ocean. It occurs when carbon dioxide gas (or CO2) is absorbed by the ocean and reacts with seawater to produce acid.

Ocean acidification will negatively affect marine life, causing organisms’ shells and skeletons made from calcium carbonate to dissolve. The more acidic the ocean, the faster the shells dissolve.

Ocean acidification is expected to impact many ocean species to varying degrees. While some species will be harmed by ocean acidification, photosynthetic algae and sea-grasses may benefit from higher CO2 conditions in the ocean, as they require CO2 to live just like plants on land.