Ocean acidification illustrates the global mean average rate of ocean acidification, quantified by decreases in pH, which is a measure of acidity, defined as the hydrogen ion concentration. A decrease in pH value corresponds to an increase in acidity. The observed decrease in ocean pH resulting from increasing concentrations of CO2 is an important indicator of change in the global ocean and the impacts of climate change.

Ocean surface acidity increased from pH 8.2 to lower than 8.1 over the industrial era as a result of an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations and closely linked to climate change and increase in temperature. This corresponds to an increase in oceanic acidity of about 30%. Reductions in surface water pH are observed across the global ocean. Ocean acidification has impacts on marine organisms and has already affected the deep ocean, particularly at high latitudes. Models project further ocean acidification worldwide.

As mentioned, ocean acidification is closely related to climate change and is not analyzed specifically in the Belgium context.

A specific factsheet including Belgian situation will be available for download June 24.

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