Questions for ‘Shell shocked: Emerging impacts of our acidifying seas’


Corals provide the base of a unique community of ocean creatures. But ocean acidification may make it difficult for corals to build their beautiful structures.


To accompany feature “Shell shocked: Emerging impacts of our acidifying seas”


Before Reading:

1.  What is the difference between an acid and a base? Name three acidic materials and three basic ones.

2.  Oysters are ocean animals that have shells made of calcium carbonate. How many other species with calcium carbonate shells can you name? Which ones can you eat?

During Reading 

1.  What is ocean acidification, and what is causing it?

2.  What does it mean when the story says that the ocean is “slightly basic”?

3.  Why does pH and temperature vary during the day in a tide pool?

4.  What is calcium carbonate?

5.  Describe two ways that ocean acidification can affect oysters.

6.  What are “foundation species”?

7.  Why did scientists bubble carbon dioxide through a pool of pink water?

8.  How are coral reefs in Australia and Bermuda different? Why does that matter?

9.  What are forams? Why are they useful for studying climate of the past?

10.  How can ocean acidification be stopped?

After Reading: 

1.  Should anything be done to halt ocean acidification? Use evidence from the story to support your answer.

2.  What would reducing or halting greenhouse gas emissions entail? Are there other benefits to doing that? Explore other stories from this series and explain your answer.