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Key Idea 6
Ocean Acidification and Solubility
Concept Question: How will ocean acidification affect the solubility of calcium carbonate, the primary constituent of the shells of marine organisms?

coccolithophoreSEM Various ocean images

You have already learned that the acidification of the ocean is affecting the speciation of carbon and reducing the availability of carbonate ions needed by some marine animals. However, the pH of the ocean also affects another equilibrium reaction: the dissolution of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which is the principal component of the shells of marine animals.