Video Ocean acidification

TLF ID M008890

This is a colour video clip of marine scientist Abby Smith discussing the process of ocean acidification and the effects on marine animals. Smith is a teacher and researcher at the University of Otago, New Zealand. The clip also shows some marine animals, and some activities that have led to ocean acidification including burning wood, driving vehicles, and flue gas stacks releasing gases into the atmosphere.

Educational details

Educational value
  • Ocean acidification is the lowering of ocean pH due to increased absorption of carbon dioxide. Over the last 200 years, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased, mainly due to human activities such as deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels. Much of this increased carbon dioxide is being absorbed by the oceans, and it is changing the pH, which is a measure of acidity or alkalinity.
  • As oceans become more acidic, there is less calcium carbonate available in the oceans. Calcium carbonate is required by many marine animals, including corals, crabs, oysters and bryozoans, to produce their shells and skeletons. Even small changes in ocean pH can have a large effect on these marine animals.
  • Bryozoans play an important role in marine ecosystems, particularly in Australian and New Zealand waters where they are relatively large and numerous compared to those in the northen hemisphere. Bryozoans, sometimes known as moss animals, are a group of animals that live in colonies and form a structure known as a thicket. They are affected by changes to water pH and are useful for studying the effects of ocean acidity on marine ecosystems.
  • Abby Smith is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Otago, New Zealand. She is a biogeochemist, which means she studies the interactions between chemical, geological and biological processes in the natural world. She is involved in bryozoan research, investigating the effects of ocean acidification.
Learning area
  • Science

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: University of Waikato
  • Organization: University of Waikato
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: NEW ZEALAND
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Video
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd 2011 (except where otherwise indicated). You may copy, communicate and adapt this metadata for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.