The Vocabulary of Sustainability.World

How we use words in Sustainability World and what we mean by them.

a     b     c         e     f     g     h     i     j     k     l     m     n     o     p     q     r     s     t     u     v     w     x     y     z

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Afforestation

is the process of introducing trees and tree seedlings to an area that has previously not been forested. Afforestation can be done through tree planting and seeding naturally or artificially.

read more ...

Afforestation is different from reforestation, which replants trees where forests have been removed or destroyed.

Afforestation is happening ​around the Sahara desert with Africa’s Great Green Wall – see our post

 

 

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Climate change

refers to the broad range of changes that are happening now to our planet.  Higher carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere cause these changes amongst which are:

  1. global warming 
  2. rising sea levels  ⇐, ⇐, rising sea temperatures
  3. ocean acidification 
  4. accelerating ice melt in the mountains, Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic  
  5. changing wind patterns (El Nino intensity) and subsequent modification of rain and snow fall and their effects on flooding, droughts agriculture and food
  6. deforestation
  7. shifts in flower/plant blooming times.

Also impacted are biodispersity , immigration and related problems of ethics, values, democracy, politics and economics.

The origin of all current limate change is ANTHROPOGENIC (relating to a process or result which is generated by human beings) – i.e. people burn fossil fuels and put heat-trapping gases (greenhouse gases ⇓ ) out into the air. (See NASA’s, What’s the difference between climate change and global warming?)

For further information, see Wired 2018,  Science & Climate

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Desertification

degrades land in dry, semi-dry and sub-humid areas and eventually turns it into desert. It destroys fragile ecosystems due to man-made activities and variations in climate.

Causes and effects ...

Causes are:

  • Overgrazing
  • Deforestation
  • Farming Practices
  • Urbanization and other land development
  • Climate Change
  • Stripping the land of resources
  • Natural Disasters

Effects of desertification are:

  • Farming becomes next to impossible
  • Hunger
  • Flooding
  • Poor Water Quality:
  • Overpopulation
  • Poverty

Read more on desertification at Conserve Energy Future and the United Nations.

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Ecological Footprint

measures what humans take from nature – fruits and vegetables, fish, wood, fibers, absorption of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use, and space for buildings and roads – i.e., the quantity of nature it takes to support people or an economy .

Technically, the ecological footprint is the impact of human activities measured in terms of the area of biologically productive land and water required to produce the goods consumed and to assimilate the wastes generated. (WWF)

See the Global Footprint Network  to calculate your ecological footprint.

Economy

is “mankind in the ordinary business of life”. [1]

[1] Alfred Marshall, Britannica

An economy is the system of a region or a country which organises and manages

the use of scarce resources, capital, industry, production. [1]  The economy is an organization which manages (scarce) means, having alternative uses, to achieve (given) ends.  Economics is the study of human behaviour as a relationship between the means and the ends. [2]

[1]   Collins The Free Dictionary     [2]   Lionel Robbins, Britannica   

Circular Economy

is a model of production and consumption which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended. 

The Circular Economy (CE) is restorative and regenerative by design and aims

to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times. CE seeks to ultimately decouple global economic development from finite resource consumption. [1]

 

In practice, CE implies reducing waste to a minimum.When a product reaches the end of its life, its materials are kept within the economy wherever possible. These can be productively used again and again, thereby creating further value. [2]

 

 

 

[3] Kenniskarten Re-thinking Progress: The Circular Economy. 28 Aug 2011 Kenniskarten Re-thinking Progress: The Circular Economy. On Youtube, 28 Aug 2014

First, a circular economy aims to design out waste. Waste does not exist: products are designed and optimized for a cycle of disassembly and reuse. These tight component and product cycles define the circular economy and set it apart from disposal and even recycling, where large amounts of embedded energy and labour are lost.
Second, circularity introduces a strict differentiation between consumable and durable components of a product. Unlike today, consumables in the circular economy are largely made of biological ingredients or ‘nutrients’ that are at least non-toxic and possibly even beneficial, and can safely be returned to the biosphere, either directly or in a cascade of consecutive uses. Durables such as engines or computers, on the other hand, are made of technical nutrients unsuitable for the biosphere, such as metals and most plastics. These are designed from the start for reuse, and products subject to rapid technological advance are designed for upgrade.
Third, the energy required to fuel this cycle should be renewable by nature, again to decrease resource dependence and increase systems resilience (to oil shocks, for example). [4]

See also the academic paper, Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions, Kirchherr et al, 2017. [5]

 

  • [1] Towards a Circular Economy: Business Rationale for an Accelerated Transition, Ellen MacArthur Fdn.
    The info-filled site locates CE’s origins, case studies
  • [2] European Parliament
  • [3] Kenniskarten Re-thinking Progress: The Circular Economy.  A great site exemplifying CE businesses, cities, regions countries; proposes what governments, businesses & citizens can do,
  • [4] WEF
  • [5] Julian Kirchherr, Denise Reike, and Marko Hekkert, ‘Conceptualizing the Circular Economy: An Analysis of 114 Definitions’, Resources, Conservation and Recycling 127 (1 December 2017): 221–32, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2017.09.005.

Linear Economy

is a traditional model based on a ‘take-make-consume-throw away’ approach of resources. [1]  A “more is better” economy [2]

The Linear Economy (LE) relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials

and has been at the heart of industrial development and has generated an unprecedented level of growth.  In the LE, resources are extracted to make products which are used until we discard and dispose them of as waste in landfill and elsewhere. Value is created by maximizing the amount of products produced and sold. [3]

This means that raw materials are used to make a product, and after its use any waste (e.g. packaging) is thrown away.

But costs to the environment are not accounted for, e.g. nitrogen fertilizers do not factor in the costs of oxygen-depleted “dead zones” in aquatic ecosystems which their runoff produces; chopping down trees in the Amazon basin, Sri Lana or Uganda does not prepare for the increased frequency of disease which insects, displaced by deforestation, cause [4]; coal plants to generate electricity, but pollute the air (SO2, NO2, particles, lead and mercury) and kill people [5], are only now factoring in these costs [6]

Below is a graphic comparison of the linear, reuse and circular economies. [7]

 

  • [1] Eionet European Environment Information and Observation Network 
  • [2] EcoMENA
  • [3] Het Groene Brein (The Green Brain).  See this site for scientists helping businesses become sustainable and circular.  
  • [4] Sharon Chen, ‘Impacts of Deforestation on Vector-Borne Disease Incidence’, The Journal of Global Health, 2015, //www.ghjournal.org/impacts-of-deforestation-on-vector-borne-disease-incidence-2/.
  • [5] ‘Mortality Rate Globally by Energy Source 2018 | Statistic’, Statista, accessed 1 October 2018, https://www.statista.com/statistics/494425/death-rate-worldwide-by-energy-source/.
  • [6] ‘Air Pollution Deaths Cost Global Economy US$225 Billion’, Text/HTML, World Bank, accessed 1 October 2018, http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2016/09/08/air-pollution-deaths-cost-global-economy-225-billion.
  • [7]  Govt of Netherlands

Energy

is the capacity to do work.  Two types exist: kinetic and potential energy, an object’s movement and its potential to have motion, respectively. Energy has many forms: thermal, mechanical, electrical, chemical, nuclear, magnetic, to name a few.

Energy has fundamental units of (mass·length^2)/time^2.

In SI units (International System of Units) the units are 1·(kg·m2)/s2 [=] 1 Joule.  Other familiar measures of energy are :

  • British thermal unit (BTU) =1055 J.
    Used to evaluate an air conditioner’s capacity to remove thermal energy per hour from the air (heat in BTUs). [1]  Also used to rate heaters, furnaces and ovens.
    ≡  1.055 kJ;  0.2522 kcal;  0.0003930 hp hr;  0.0002931 kWh
  • kilo calorie (kcal) = 4.1855 kJ
    (the amount of thermal energy necessary to raise the temperature of one kilo of water by 1°C, from a temperature of 14.5°C, at a pressure of 1 atm). [2]
    Food energy is measured in large calories or kilocalories and is written capitalized as “Calories” = 103 calories.
    ≡  4.184 kJ;  3.966 BTU;  0.001559 hp hr;  0.001162 kWh
  • horsepower-hour = 2.6845 MJ. The power needed to lift 33000 pounds 1 foot in 1 minute [=] lb·ft/min; a  metric horsepower is 4,500 kilogram-metres per minute (32,549 foot-pounds per minute), or 0.9863 horsepower. [3]
    Used to rate cars’ power [4], the thrust of jet engines and rockets .
    ≡  2684 kJ;  2544 BTU;  641.4 kcal;  0.7447 kWh.  Gasoline gallon equivalent ~ 120 MJ.
  • kilowatt hour (kWh) = 3.6×106 J (3600 kJ or 3.6 MJ).
    Used to rate the use of energy of electrical appliances, eg. a 100 watt light bulb uses 1 kWh if left on for 10 hours (100W·1kW/1000W·1hr = 0.1kWh = 1kWh/10hr).
    Other appliance’s consumption of energy is listed in on the napower site. [5]
    ≡  3600 kJ;  3412 BTU;  860.4 kcal;  1.343 hp hr

[1] Compact Appliance CA     [2] Britannica     [3] Britannica     [4] Pop Sci     [5] napower     

Alternative energy

specifically excludes fossil energy [1]. It includes, for example, solar power, wind power, geothermal, biomass, hydro power, waste energy. There is discussion of nuclear energy’s status as “alternative” or not.

 

Clean energy

has energy sources which create less pollution and are better for the environment [1], eg renewable, zero-emissions sources (“renewables”), nuclear power and biofuels [2a], as well as energy saved through energy efficiency (“EE”) measures [2b]

 

Green energy

comes from natural sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides [1], biogas, organic plant and waste material (eligible biomass), and small low-impact hydroelectric sources [2]. These energy resources are renewable, meaning they’re naturally replenished. Fossil energy may be natural, but it’s not renewable: we have 50-100 years of fossil fuel reserves left, the we’re out. [3]

An additional point: green energy is a subset of renewable energy. [2]

 

Renewable energy

is replenishable energy source, and can replenish itself of a short period of time without being diminished[1] [2], eg solar, wind, all hydropower, biomass and geothermal [3].

 

Renewable energy is not necessarily sustainable:

Wood, which is renewable, as a fuel for electricity may not be sustainable since it pollutes the Earth with CO2, smoke  and particles; and it eliminates oxygen-producing, CO2-consuming trees.

Large hydroelectric power  [1], though it uses water flows which are renewable, can have environmental issues such as effects on fisheries, land use & modification, downstream water-availability, topography, societies and biodiversity as well as political issues such as food-security, water-rights, displacement of valley inhabitants and, on an international scale, conflict over which country gets to use how much of the hydroelectricity (eg. Brazil vs Paraguay issue  [2], Egypt vs 11 African nations  [3] ).  Not to mention using vast amounts of concrete, the production of which is a principle sources of CO2-emissions.

Nuclear fission could be sustainable, but it’s not renewable; nuclear fusion of hydrogen, if it ever is developed, might well be sustainable AND “renewable”.  <refs ?

 

Sustainable energy

comes from sources which can be replenished at human time scales or is consumed (1) at insignificant rates compared to its supply and (2) with manageable collateral effects, especially environmental ones. [1]

Among such sources is: the Sun (solar energy), wind (wind power), rivers (hydroelectric power), hot springs (geothermal energy), marine (tidal and wave power), and biomass (biofuels). [2]

 

Equality

the condition of being equal, especially of having the same political, social, and economic rights [1] and of receiving the same treatment. [2]

Equality aims to ensure that everyone gets the same things in order to enjoy full, healthy lives, [3] and therefore it aims to “leveling the playing field.” [4]

 

Equity

is the quality of being fair and reasonable in a way that gives equal [1] treatment to everyone.

 

Equity involves trying to understand and give people what they need to enjoy full, healthy lives.

Like equity, equality aims to promote fairness and justice, but it can only work if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same things. [1]   So equitable processes provide “more for those who need it.” [2]

Equity is associated with “equality of opportunity” [3] and “equality of outcome”.
If, say, a job is open to all (formerly called “equal opportunity”) and the selection procedures identifies the best-qualified candidates, “equality” is not a sufficient condition to ensure fairness and justice, else it would permit differences in people’s social circumstances—such as the economic class, culture, family into which they were born, or their sex or hair color— to have too deep an impact on their prospects.

The underlying motivation of the ideal of equity (equality of opportunity), is to counteract the effects of people’s different natural and social circumstances while permitting inequalities of condition that emerge because of their choices. On that basis, some have argued that inequalities arising from differences in choice are not only just but necessary, to give personal responsibility its due. That view is sometimes described as luck egalitarianism.  [3]

Luck egalitarianism is a combination of two different claims: first, that justice requires the neutralization of the effects of differences in people’s circumstances, and, second, that it is just to require people to bear the costs, or allow them to enjoy the benefits, of their voluntary choices. In making those claims, luck egalitarianism invokes a distinction between choice and circumstance, or between brute luck and “option luck.” [3]

 

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Global warming

is the rise of temperature of the planet due to releasing heat-trapping gases, also called “greenhouse gases” , as we power our modern lives.

See the National Geographic’s article on What is Global Warming ?  ?

Governance

is a way that a city or company is controlled by the people who run it: a process of interaction between public and/or private entities to manage at the highest levels organisations or countries, and to realise collective goals.

For more information, see Merriam-Webster, Cambridge, Britannica

Green(er) growth

fosters economic growth and development, while ensuring that natural assests continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies. See further information ...

Highlights [1]

  • Be realistic in accepting, as most green economy proponents do, that growth of some kind will continue, but rethinking and redefining it is essential. This involves recognising that richer is not always happier; status competition is socially and ecologically harmful; and GDP and income are narrow measures of well-being.
  • Recognise Economic and political inequality. Equitable growth is less damaging and more ecologically responsible. Inequality leads to more consumption; insecurity; and a harmful erosion of social trust, capital, and the capacity for collective action.
  • Beyond rethinking what growth means, be “indifferent or neutral about it” in evaluating goals and developing strategies. Rather than call for overall d growth,  we should focus on economic activities and sectors such as fossil fuels, scroll, large-scale Agricultural, and others with selective de-growth.
  • Build the concept on the irreplaceablity of ecological assets and services, for their own sake as well as their economic value. The ecological economics provides a basis for doing this, but it would help allay concerns of criticss if there were a greater appreciation of ecological goods on their own and not just for their instrumental value.
  • Recognise directly that business greening though eco-efficiency and Innovation is necessary but inefficient. Government plays a role by putting a price on carbon, reforming subsidies, linking policy across sectors, reorienting Investments, promoting new technologies, pricing resources effectively, and other measures.

For further information, see:

 

[1] Daniel J. Fiorino, A Good Life on a Finite Earth: The Political Economy of Green Growth (Oxford University Press, 2018), http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780190605803.001.0001/oso-9780190605803.

Greenhouse gases

are those gases in the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorb heat from the earth's surface and atmosphere. This property is the fundamental cause of global wariming.

The absorbtion, and emission, concerns radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of thermal infrared radiation, the radiation is emitted by the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere itself, and by clouds.

The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and ozone (O3). Moreover, there are a number of entirely human-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as the halocarbons and other chlorine- and bromine-containing substances, dealt with under the Montreal Protocol. Beside CO2, N2O and CH4, the Kyoto Protocol deals with the greenhouse gases sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).

Greenhouse gases do have a useful role: without them, the average temperature of Earth’s surface would be about −18°C (0°F) (NASA), rather than the present average of 15°C (59°F).

Definition from IPCC AR4 & Wikipedia, Greenhouse Gases.

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Liberalism

  1. embodies commitments to individual liberty, economic freedom, the free exchange of ideas and international coalition-building (Oxford Manifesto, 1947)
  2. is a political doctrine that takes protecting and enhancing the freedom of the individual to be the central problem of politics. Liberals typically believe that government is necessary to protect individuals from being harmed by others, but they also recognize that government itself can pose a threat to liberty. (Britannica)
The problem, then, is to devise a system that gives government the power necessary to protect individual liberty but also prevents those who govern from abusing that power.

Since the late 19th century, however, most liberals have insisted that the powers of government can promote as well as protect the freedom of the individual. According to modern liberalism, the chief task of government is to remove obstacles that prevent individuals from living freely or from fully realizing their potential. Such obstacles include poverty, disease, discrimination, and ignorance. The disagreement among liberals over whether government should promote individual freedom rather than merely protect it is reflected to some extent in the different prevailing conceptions of liberalism in the United States and Europe since the late 20th century. In the United States liberalism is associated with the welfare-state policies of the New Deal program of the Democratic administration of Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt, whereas in Europe it is more commonly associated with a commitment to limited government and laissez-faire economic policies. (Britannica)

See The literature of liberalism in the Economist.

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is the change in ocean chemistry due to increasing acidity in seawater.  It results from the dissolution of CO2 from the atmosphere into water: an estimated 25% of CO2 released into the air dissolves in oceans, rivers and lakes (UC Davis) – about 22 milliion tons/day. (Earth Eclipse)

It affects many aspects of life, e.g. the shells of oysters, calms, sea urchins, coral and plankton cannot form, or they dissolve, since high pH solubilizes CaCO3, the stuff these shells are made of.

See the National Geographic’s article on Ocean Acidification.

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Politics

is the way that people living in groups make decisions. [1]
Said otherwise, it’s the art or science of government [2] and the activities of the government, members of law-making organizations, or people who try to influence the way a country is governed. [3]

Political systems:

[1]  Wikipedia        [2]  Merriam-Webster          [3]  Cambridge

Capitalism

An economic, political and social system in which private or corporate entities own the factors of production (capital goods, labor, natural resources) and maximize profits for successful individuals and organisation.  Capitalism is characterized by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.

For further information, see:

Communism

The belief in a society without different social classes in which the methods of production are owned and controlled by all its members.  To avoid any one from monopolizing profits, Karl Marx, the original theorist of communism, said “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

For further information, see:

Social democracy

  1. political ideology that originally advocated a peaceful evolutionary transition of society from capitalism to socialism using established political processes.
  2. a political ideology in which state regulation, rather than state ownership, of the means of production and extensive social welfare programs (Britannica) within the framework of capitalism (wiki)

See Understanding Social Democracy

Socialism

An economic system characterized by a society based on equality 1 and cooperation of all, without different social classes, in which property, the methods of production and natural resources are owned and controlled by Society (i.e. all its members) and everyone who works is entitled to a share of what’s produced 2.

For further information, see:

 

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Rebound effect

Lower costs lead people to consume more goods or services. Thus policies to reduce population, consumption, affluence and energy intensity are not sufficient to reduce impact. Some examples:
Examples Solutions
o   Fuel efficient cars can lead to more driving that off sets the advantages of greater energy efficienty. Implement policies to reduce behavior that uses energy, eg. tax distances driven over a certain threshold.
o   Renovation and insulation can reduce heating costs. Because their energy costs decrease, users may heat more and therefore raise energy consumption Engage tenants to energy savings: install indicators of electricity use; install temperature and humidity indicators in each dwelling or room.


References
:

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Sustainablity

is the quality of being able to continue over time, particularly with regard to three essential parts of sustainability 1 :

  1. ecolgical
  2. economic
  3. social

Sustainability is the long-term viability of a system, community, set of social institutions, or societal practice, in particular to maintain the integrity of ecosystems and the well-being of future generations.2

1 WEF (World Economic Forum).     2 Britannica (forms of sustainability and how to create a sustainable future)

See more in Sustainability simply explained  ⇐. 

Sustainable development

“… meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” [Brundtland Commission Report or the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), or Our Common Future, in 1987.  See the full report here.]

Sustainable development seeks to achieve, in a balanced manner, economic development, social development and environmental protection. (UN)

See more in Sustainability simply explained ⇐.

Sustainable energy

See vocabulary above and Renewable energy  

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Well-being

“How we’re doing”. [1]
How well a person’s life is going. [2]
The state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous. [3]

Measure What Works, a site, simplifies and says, Well-being is ‘how we’re doing’.

The site [1] lists some key components of well-being: our physical and mental health, our relationships, work, income, activities, and environment.  But, well-being can be different for each of us, because it depends on our genes, our childhood and our adult experiences.

The Center for Disease Control [2] notes that the quality of well-being and “being well” characterises a person who judges life positively and feels good.

It concerns the quality of people’s relationships, their positive emotions and resilience, the realization of their potential, or their overall satisfaction with life.  It generally includes global judgments of life satisfaction and feelings ranging from depression to joy.
The CDC interestingly further examines “well-being” broadly and beyond “physical well-being” (feeling very healthy and full of energy, which are essential for well-being) and touches on aspects of well-being which address economic well-being, social well-being, emotional & psychological well-being, life satisfaction and engaging activities and work, amongst other of its features.

Well-being is also discussed [4] as “what’s ‘good’ for a person”, in a moral and ethical sense (Welfarism, Well-being and Virtue), considering utilitarianism (maximizing well-being) and theories of well-being (Hedonism, Desire Theories, Objective List Theories)

 

Over the past 300 million years, ocean pH has been slightly basic, averaging about 8.2; today, it is around 8.1.  This drop of 0.1 pH units is a 25-percent increase in acidity over the past two centuries.

The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is: pH of 7 is neutral, eg water (distilled).  A pH less than 7 is "acidic", eg. lemon juice or vinegar. A pH greater than 7 is "basic", eg blood (pH 7.3), soap and milk of magnesia (~10).

So a pH of 8.1, the average pH of oceans today,  is ~1.25 times more acidic than pH 8.2, the oceans' average pH ~200 years ago - hence a 25% increase in acidity !

This is because the pH scale is logarithmic: pH 6 is ten times more acidic than pH 7; pH 4 is ten times more acidic than pH 5 and 100 times (10 times 10) more acidic than pH 6.

Over the past 300 million years, ocean pH has been slightly basic, averaging about 8.2; today, it is around 8.1.  This drop of 0.1 pH units is a 25-percent increase in acidity over the past two centuries.

The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is: pH of 7 is neutral, eg water (distilled).  A pH less than 7 is "acidic", eg. lemon juice or vinegar. A pH greater than 7 is "basic", eg blood (pH 7.3), soap and milk of magnesia (~10).

So a pH of 8.1, the average pH of oceans today,  is ~1.25 times more acidic than pH 8.2, the oceans' average pH ~200 years ago - hence a 25% increase in acidity !

This is because the pH scale is logarithmic: pH 6 is ten times more acidic than pH 7; pH 4 is ten times more acidic than pH 5 and 100 times (10 times 10) more acidic than pH 6.

When CO2 dissolves in seawater to produce aqueous CO2 (CO2(aq)) it also forms carbonic acid (H2CO3) (Eq. 1; Figure 1). Carbonic acid rapidly dissociates (splits apart) to produce bicarbonate ions (HCO3-, Eq. 2). In turn, bicarbonate ions can also dissociate into carbonate ions (CO32-, Eq. 3). Both of these reactions (Eqs. 2, 3) also produce protons (H+) and therefore lower the pH of the solution (i.e., the water is now more acidic than it was.

1.         CO2(aq) + H2O ↔ H2CO3

2.         H2CO3 ↔ HCO3- + H+

3.         HCO3- ↔ CO32- + H+

Dissociation of carbon dioxide in seawater.

Figure 1: Dissociation of carbon dioxide in seawater.

 

Cartoon of the reactions described by Equations 1–3 plus the precipitation (or dissolution) of calcium carbonate. The scanning electron micrograph image (bottom left) is of the planktic foraminifer, Globigerina bulloides (about 0.5 mm long), which secretes a multi-chambered shell made of calcite (the more resistant-to-dissolution structural form of CaCO3 than coral aragonite).

 

Note, as illustrated in Ocean Acidification, this does not imply that ocean waters will actually become acidic (i.e., pH < 7.0).

 

Read more about ocean acidification in Nature.
kJ BTU k calorie horsepower hr kWh
kJ 1 0.9478 0.2390 1.341 0.0002778
BTU 1.055 1 0.2522 0.0003930 0.0002931
k calorie 4.184 3.966 1 0.001559 0.001162
horsepower hr 0.7457 2544 641.4 1 0.7447
kWh 3600 3412 860.4 1.343 1

When CO2 dissolves in seawater to produce aqueous CO2 (CO2(aq)) it also forms carbonic acid (H2CO3) (Eq. 1; Figure 1). Carbonic acid rapidly dissociates (splits apart) to produce bicarbonate ions (HCO3-, Eq. 2). In turn, bicarbonate ions can also dissociate into carbonate ions (CO32-, Eq. 3). Both of these reactions (Eqs. 2, 3) also produce protons (H+) and therefore lower the pH of the solution (i.e., the water is now more acidic than it was.

1.         CO2(aq) + H2O ↔ H2CO3

2.         H2CO3 ↔ HCO3- + H+

3.         HCO3- ↔ CO32- + H+

Dissociation of carbon dioxide in seawater.

Figure 1: Dissociation of carbon dioxide in seawater.

 

Cartoon of the reactions described by Equations 1–3 plus the precipitation (or dissolution) of calcium carbonate. The scanning electron micrograph image (bottom left) is of the planktic foraminifer, Globigerina bulloides (about 0.5 mm long), which secretes a multi-chambered shell made of calcite (the more resistant-to-dissolution structural form of CaCO3 than coral aragonite).

 

Note, as illustrated in Ocean Acidification, this does not imply that ocean waters will actually become acidic (i.e., pH < 7.0).

 

Read more about ocean acidification in Nature.