“How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.”
Arthur C. Clarke
Introduction to History
The reduction of the pH in the oceans of the world has been occurring since the beginning of human usage of carbon based fossil fuels in the Industrial revolution. The history of this issue from a human perspective has only been recorded from the late 1970’s through now, but from a paleo-oceanic perspective the oceans of the world. But now ocean acidification is happening at far quicker rates than ever before. This is a history of what has transpired (according to projections and current research) in prehistoric times and during the reign of man in respect to the acidification of the ocean.
Earth’s Climate and Ocean Acidification History
Scientific expeditions have collected sediment data ranging from the present back to the “greenhouse” period on Earth more than 53 million years ago. This early Eocene period was succeeded by cooling and growth of major ice caps in Antarctica 34 million years ago, which have been observed in sediment cores. In the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum climate of 53 million years ago, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was higher than today, which caused the ocean to be much more acidic, and resulted in a mass extinction. Following this thermal maximum, during the accumulation of ice in the icecaps of Antarctica, the ocean rapidly became less acidic, which has been observed by more carbonate being found in the deep ocean sediment cores. The climate transition from warm to cool took less than 100,000.
Studies have found that climate-induced changes in ocean acidification have large and global impacts on the survival of marine organisms. Because of the very significant role of the equatorial Pacific Ocean in global climate processes, major environmental changes are displayed by...