Climate Change and Carbon Dioxide


(KTSF by Jessie Liang)

Jim Callahan is an editor for Today he used his mobile climate science lab to demonstrate how carbon dioxide reacts with ocean water and the planet.

Callahan says, “If it changes to yellow, it’s becomes an acid. Can the water become acid just from our breath?  There we’ve seen the change.  This is the change that’s happening with our oceans. It’s more dramatic in this water. The oceans of chemicals called buffers  slow it down, but that’s the effect happening in oceans too. The more carbon dioxide we add, the more acidic water is becoming.”

Callahan says if there’s more acidic water in the ocean, it could increase the death rate of ocean wildlife. But if it’s natural air in the ocean, the carbon dioxide level is normal and there’s nothing changing with the water. How about carbon dioxide we breathe out ?  Callahan says,  “…We are all breathing out a lot of more carbon dioxide than we breathe in. This is happening every day in our life but we never see it.”

The normal carbon dioxide level we breathe out per person per day is one kilogram. Why don’t we have  to worry about the CO2 we breathe out? Callahan says, “The planet is used to this. The animals, people on the earth breathe out carbon dioxide. The planet, trees -  they can handle this and make oxygen without any problem.”

However, Callahan says  driving is a big factor causing climate change. What we can do to save the planet is to reduce driving activity in our daily life. He says ” When we travel in a car, that burns gasoline, we’re producing carbon dioxide.  When riding a bike or running, we’re just making a usual amount – one kilogram a day – and it’s  not a problem to the plant.”

In addition, we can also help  protect our ocean and ocean wildlife by using fewer plastics and oil. Carol Preston for the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary says, “Things such as more pollutants in their environment will also stress animals. So with less plastic, less oil – all of those things will help the marine life survive and thrive.”

(Copyright 2011 KTSF.  All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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