How carbon dioxide affects ocean life
Modeling a sea change
Seawater reacts with atmospheric carbon dioxide to form carbonic acid. This acidified water has less calcium carbonate, a component vital to many organisms. To estimate one impact of increasing levels of CO2 on ocean life, the models above show how calcium carbonate is predicted to decrease over time at a depth of 10 meters, where most corals live. The blue areas have the optimal level of carbonate minerals. The scale goes from blue to yellow to red, with the red areas having extremely marginal levels.