Ocean acidification is often referred to as ‘the other carbon dioxide problem’. We’re all quite rightly concerned about the effects that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may have on climate, and the potential consequences of climate change are well documented: more frequent instances of extreme weather, and higher global average temperatures to name but two. Ocean acidification gets comparatively less press, and as such is sometimes misunderstood – but its effects could be equally serious.
This week (31 Oct – 6 Nov) is #RealTimeChem Week – if you’re a tweeting chemist or chemistry enthusiast, you’ll probably know what that is already, but if you’re not familiar with it check out the FAQ here! Like last year, I’m creating graphics showcasing the work of the three winners of the #RealTimeChem week competition I ran earlier in October – hopefully explaining cutting edge research in easily understandable terms!
You might recall a month or so ago I started a new project on the site, Chemunicate, with which I aim to work with chemistry researchers and help produce graphics explaining their work in a straightforward manner. This graphic is the result of a collaboration with scientists from the University of Hull, and explains their study in which they examined how ocean acidification could affect the chemical senses of marine organisms.
Back in school, you’ll have learned that the air in our atmosphere is composed primarily of nitrogen, at 78%, and oxygen, at 21%, with a number of other trace gases. It’s to these trace gases we’re looking today – more specifically, at how human activity can result in the release of air pollution in to the atmosphere. Here, we examine a number of different chemical compounds that contribute to atmospheric pollution, their specific sources, and their effects.