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Home » Ocean Acidification: The Evil Twin of Climate Change by Triona McGrath (Transcript)

Ocean Acidification: The Evil Twin of Climate Change by Triona McGrath (Transcript)

Triona McGrath

Here is the full transcript of Chemical oceanographer Triona McGrath’s TEDx Talk on Ocean Acidification: The Evil Twin of Climate Change at TEDxFulbrightDublin conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio: Ocean acidification – the evil twin of climate change by Triona McGrath at TEDxFulbrightDublin


Do you ever think about how important the oceans are in our daily lives?

The oceans cover two-thirds of our planet. They provide half the oxygen we breathe. They moderate our climate. And they provide jobs and medicine and food, including 20% of protein to feed the entire world population.

People used to think that the oceans were so vast that they wouldn’t be affected by human activities. Well today I’m going to tell you about a serious reality that is changing our oceans called ocean acidification, or the evil twin of climate change.

Did you know that the oceans have absorbed 25% of all of the carbon dioxide that we have emitted to the atmosphere? Now this is just another great service provided by the oceans since carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases that’s causing climate change.

But as we keep pumping more and more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, more is dissolving into the oceans. And this is what’s changing our ocean chemistry.

When carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, it undergoes a number of chemical reactions. Now lucky for you, I don’t have time to get into the details of the chemistry for today. But I’ll tell you as more carbon dioxide enters the ocean, the seawater pH goes down. And this basically means that there is an increase in ocean acidity. And this whole process is called ocean acidification. And it’s happening alongside climate change.

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