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Carbon dioxide and the acidification of our oceansFeatured science projectScience project video


The hypothesis that increasing the level of carbon dioxide in water will lower the pH level of the water, thus making it more acidic, is proven to be true. The acidity of the water increased when a higher concentration of carbon dioxide was used.

The increasing acidity of our oceans is a growing concern. Our growing dependence on fuels leads to the creation of many greenhouse gases. With increasing ocean acidity, scientists have proven that much of marine life is at risk. The sea is a bountiful source of food for humans and other animals. If the delicate balance in the ecology of marine life is toppled, there will be knock-on effect on the rest of the earth's human and animal population.

Conserve energy by taking public transportation instead of driving a car. Switch off lights when you leave your room and encourage your parents to purchase energy-efficient products. Do your part to conserve energy for even a little bit of effort will go a long way to helping stem the rise of the greenhouse effect, if we all play our part.

Also consider

This experiment can also be done by using sea water instead of tap water.

Try to modify this experiment by increasing the time the air bubbles are blown and see if the results are different.

Think of ways to rebalance the pH of the water. What can you add to the water to make it less acidic? Consider if there will be by-products in this neutralizing process. Would neutralizing the water turn out to be more harmful than good? 


  • Greenhouse gas -
  • Ocean acidification -
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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 2 hours for experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:
  1. Be careful not to inhale the smoke from the exhaust. If inhaled it can cause dizziness and carbon monoxide poisoning.
  2. Adult participation is required when working with the car.