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Ocean pH: Then, Now, and Future


Ocean acidification is the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth's oceans, caused by the uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) as water and air mix at the water’s surface. In an effort to better understand the historical evolution of ocean acidification, the Environmental Visualization Laboratory at NOAA has developed an Interactive Map that shows pH data from 1861 to present day, and future forecasts to 2100. Scrolling back and forth through the decades brings home the dramatic changes that have occurred in the ocean over the past 150 years and demonstrates what might happen in the years to come.

The visualization is output from a model that uses carbon dioxide emission estimates from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Other interesting ocean science data sets available on NOAAView include sea surface temperature, salinity, nitrate, oxygen and chlorophyll. To learn more, please visit NOAAView Data Exploration Tool.

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