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pH Scale, Ocean Chemistry and Impact of Ocean Acidification on Marine Life

Teaching Module

A set of hands-on laboratory activities that uses the pH scale to understand the changes in ocean chemistry due to increased carbon dioxide emissions. This module shows that increased ocean acidification has adverse effects on marine organisms.

This teaching module will enable students to use the pH scale and visualise changes in the pH of water due to dissolved carbon dioxide. They will observe changes in shells of marine organisms over time when exposed to increased acidic solutions. Students will correlate atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and increased ocean acidification.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. How does an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide change the pH value of ocean water?
  2. What is the effect of ocean acidification on marine life?
About Tool
Tool Name Using the pH Scale and Carbonic Acid Formation to Understand the Effect of Ocean Acidification on Organisms with Calcium Carbonate Shells.
Discipline Chemistry
Topic(s) in Discipline pH Scale, Acids and Bases, Carbonic Acid, Ocean Acidification, Calcium Carbonate
Climate Topic Climate and the Hydrosphere
Type of tool Teaching Module
Grade Level High School, 
Location Global,USA
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by Authored by Richard Rueb, Clackamas Community College, based on an original activity by Sheila Alfsen, Linn Benton Community College.
Hosted at InTeGrate (Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future)
Access Online
Computer Skills Basic


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