A new research undertaken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association concluded that as climate change is acidifying Earth’s oceans, it is becoming increasingly difficult for coral reefs to acclimatize, thereby making them more vulnerable to bleaching.
Ocean acidification (OA) occurs when carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is absorbed by seawater, resulting in a chemical reaction that reduces pH and calcium carbonate levels vital for the growth and repair of calcifying organisms like corals.
At least one-quarter of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from coal, oil and gas dissolves in the ocean. Changes in the ocean’s chemistry since the Industrial Revolution have been recorded at an unprecedented rate. In the last two centuries alone, ocean water has become 30 percent more acidic — not even natural buffering can keep up.