Acidification (noun, “A-SID-ih-fih-KAY-shun” verb, acidify)
This is any process that makes a solution more acidic. When carbon dioxide dissolves into water, it makes carbonic acid. This turns the water more acidic (although it does not necessarily turn it into an actual acid).
In a sentence
Acidification in the ocean may blunt sharks’ sense of smell — and make it harder for them to hunt.
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acidification A process that lowers the pH of a solution. When carbon dioxide dissolves in water, it triggers chemical reactions that create carbonic acid.
carbon dioxide (or CO2) A colorless, odorless gas produced by all animals when the oxygen they inhale reacts with the carbon-rich foods that they’ve eaten. Carbon dioxide also is released when organic matter (including fossil fuels like oil or gas) is burned. Carbon dioxide acts as a greenhouse gas, trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. Plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen during photosynthesis, the process they use to make their own food.
carbonic acid A solution of carbon dioxide in water.
pH A measure of a solution’s acidity. A pH of 7 is perfectly neutral. Acids have a pH lower than 7; the farther from 7, the stronger the acid. Alkaline solutions, called bases, have a pH higher than 7; again, the farther above 7, the stronger the base.