37: Ocean acidification, global warming, and coral bleaching

Environmental Essentials: Ocean acidification

All that carbon dioxide that humanity has been throwing into the atmosphere has to go somewhere. The ocean is an excellent buffer but it isn't fast. The surface ocean becomes more and more acidic and organisms of all sizes suffer because of it.

Main Topic: Global warming (and climate change)

Global warming, climate change—what is what? People use the terms interchangeably but they aren't the same. Global warming is only a small part of climate change and lumping them together allows skeptics to argue that climate change isn't real because it is cold outside.

Biodiversity Basics: Coral bleaching

Coral reefs are the basis for ocean life. A quarter of the ocean's inhabitants depends on them—and so do millions and millions of humans. But with the warming ocean waters and more extreme weather events, coral reefs are struggling. The coral bleach. But what is coral bleaching?

Mentioned in this episode:

Ocean acidification | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
At a California oyster hatchery, farming native seaweed improved water quality | NOAA Climate.gov
Looking for a sustainable alternative to harvesting wild seaweed, a small California company partnered with a commercial oyster grower to test-farm native seaweeds. The crop reduced pollution and buffered local ocean acidification.


Jahrhunderthochwasser – Wikipedia
It’s official: July was Earth’s hottest month on record | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Why climate change is still the greatest threat to human health
Polluted air and steadily rising temperatures are linked to health effects ranging from increased heart attacks and strokes to the spread of infectious diseases and psychological trauma.
Basic Information about Coral Reefs | US EPA
Coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth. This web site describes the importance of coral reefs, threats to them, and ongoing efforts to protect them.

Chasing Coral timelapse summary:


Kate Hildenbrand

Kate Hildenbrand

Kate Hildenbrand is the writer behind the essays here, author of fiction novels, the creator of the Kate Hildenbrand podcast, and a student of marine ecology. At least, that's her on the surface.