How does #CO_2# cause ocean acidification?

What chemically happens and how does it cause a decrease in pH?

1 Answer
Oct 7, 2017

Well, carbon dioxide is a so-called acidic oxide.


And we can represent its acidic behavior by invoking the solution behavior of dissolved carbon dioxide gas:

#CO_2 + H_2O rightleftharpoons HCO_3^(-) + H_3O^+#

And if the concentration of protium ion increases how will #pH# evolve?

What effect do you think this reaction will have on coral reefs, which consist of #CaCO_3(s)#?