Carbon Dioxide a Potential Threat to Marine Life

Coral Reef

Worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning are dramatically altering ocean chemistry and threatening marine organisms, including corals that secrete skeletal structures and support oceanic biodiversity. A recent report summarizes the known effects of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide on these organisms, and recommends future research to determine the extent of the impacts. “It is clear that seawater chemistry will change in coming in ways that will dramatically alter marine life,” says the report’s lead author. Others look to the ocean as a huge carbon storage sink (countering the negative effects of higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide).

Download Printable PDFs that appeal to 3 different reading levels and should be applicable from grades 4-12. Print one, two, or all three versions to appeal to the diverse reading abilities in your classroom:

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