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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

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  • Videos, 2 minutes, 51 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Worksheets

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Google Docs, PDF, YouTube Video

What Is Ocean Acidification?

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  • This easy-to-follow video and worksheet will teach students about carbon emissions, climate change, acidic water in the oceans, the impacts to marine life, and what we can do to help.
  • The video thoroughly explains the scientific process of ocean acidification with helpful visuals to illustrate the chemical processes that occur between dissolved carbon dioxide, hydrogen ions, calcium carbonate shells, and carbonate ions in the ocean.
Teaching Tips


  • While this video contains extensive scientific vocabulary related to ocean acidification, it is scaffolded by the use of graphics and illustrations.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with concepts such as climate change and fossil fuel use.
  • The video is available without an account, but teachers need to make a free account to access the additional materials.


  • Pausing the video after each new concept is introduced and checking for understanding or leading a discussion could be helpful.
  • Stop at 00:40 and discuss the concept of carbon sources and sinks. Guiding questions might include "Why is a carbon sink a good thing?" and "How does the ocean act as a carbon sink?".
  • In biology or social studies classes, discuss how the threat to shelled sea creatures impacts the whole ocean food web and the people that rely on it for food.
  • For additional content about ocean acidification, you can reference this Climate Change and the Oceans resource here and this video about ocean acidification and coral reefs.
Scientist Notes

This resource is valid and recommended for teaching the role of the ocean in sequestering atmospheric CO2 and regulating the hydrological cycle. Also, there is a need to take action to reduce the concentration of atmospheric CO2 from entering our oceans.

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