Shells and pH acidity

In Biology class we did an experiment to test acidity levels in the ocean. We need to understand what is happening in our environments and to do that we are conducting experiments with different acidity levels. As time has gone on the atmosphere has become more polluted with Co2 raising pH levels. This is important because it can affect organisms and how they live, for example. Shells in the ocean are a food supply for shore animals and if the acidity level is too high it could affect the growth of them virtually eliminating that food source.

To find the strength of the shells we stacked books on each to see how much weight it took to break them. The clam broke first and then the scallop, many of us thought that the clam would be stronger but it wasn’t. We made the assumption that the scallop was stronger because of the ridges in the shell. We also tested the shells reaction to different pH levels, so we put them in three different types of liquid; vinegar, salt water and tap water. We left the shells in the jars of liquid for about a week and the clam dissolved in the vinegar and the scallop was half dissolved. The shells in the other solutions had not dissolved.

The main idea is to see if rising pH levels in water will affect the organisms living in the water. We need to know and understand what we can do to keep the pH levels from rising in the water, so we are not killing off food supply and other organisms. Alexa C.

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