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pH Levels of Oceans and Atmospheric CO2


A visualization that allows students to explore changes in the pH levels of oceans for different levels of atmospheric CO2. It includes visualizations of CO2 concentrations corresponding to various emission scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The simulation enables students to visualize the global pH value of oceans for a given concentration atmospheric CO2. Students can vary the atmospheric CO2 levels to observe the corresponding changes in the pH value of the oceans. Students can also observe the graphs for concentrations of various species of carbonate ions in (i) a closed system and (ii) an open ocean; and those depicting the pH value of oceans for various atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Further, students can select different Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) projection options and visualize the corresponding predicted ocean pH value on the pH indicator strip or on the aforementioned graphs. Note: Detailed information about SRES projections can be obtained

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is ocean acidification?
  2. Discuss the possible global impact of higher levels of atmospheric CO2 on the pH of oceans.
About Tool
Tool NameSurface Ocean pH Levels
DisciplineChemistry, Environmental Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplinepH Levels, Carbonates, Ocean Acidification, Carbon Emissions
Climate TopicClimate and the Hydrosphere, Climate and the Atmosphere
Type of toolVisualization
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
Translation     –
Developed byKristen Tjostheim, Matt Price, Darrell Vandenbrink, Ashley Ritter, Joseph Zondervan, Rachel Hislop-Hook, Mckenzie Oliver, Tyler Deboon, Marc-Olivier Lajeunesse Dr. Peter Mahaffy, Dr. Brian Martin, and Dr. Kristopher Ooms.
Hosted atThe King’s Centre for Visualization in Science
Computer SkillsBasic


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