Ocean Acidification Lab Title: The effects of composition of water on the absorption of Carbon Dioxide. Topic Introduction: The Ocean provides us with many uses and ways to help us live, breathe, obtain food... you name it. But what we haven't yet realized is how little we are giving it back for its service to us. In this case, it is more like how much more we are giving it than it can handle. We already know that the ocean absorbs 25% of the ocean's CO2 levels, but what we are barely figuring out is that we are giving it more carbon dioxide making this more harmful to all of marine life. Over the last 250 years, the amount of CO2 has increased by 30% make the water more acidic than it has ever been. When Carbon Dioxide mixes with water, an acid is created known as H2CO3, or in other words; Carbonic Acid. With the high amounts of CO2 building up in the water, this affects shellfish in making their shells because they use an element in the water known as calcium, that is being mixed with CO3 making calcium Carbonate. This element lessens the ability for these creatures to make their shells making them an easy prey for other predators. Experimental Question: What happens to water when it absorbs high amounts of Carbon Dioxide? Bubbles Protocol Hypothesis: If air is blown into the seawater, then the sea water would turn acidic due to the levels of carbon dioxide. Pre-Lab Questions: 1. What gas are you blowing into the water? The gas being blown into the water is Carbon Dioxide. 2. What happens to the gas when you blow it into the water? The gas is being the absorbed by the water 3. How are you measuring change in the water during this lab? The change of the water is being measured by the measured by it's change in color. There's a pH indicator liquid that is added to the water. 4. What does measuring the pH of the water tell us? This tells us the acidity level of the water. 5. After studying the reactions above, how do you think carbonic acid will affect the pH of saltwater? The Carbon Acid will cause the salt water's pH to become acidic. Hypothesis: Bubbles Protocol If carbon dioxide bubbles are added to the sea water, then the pH level of the water will become more acidic due to the pH scale. Protocol: Preparation 1. Assign a role to each group member 2. Familiarize yourself with the Universal Indicator Color Chart Control Trial: 1. MATERIALS: Add 100 mL saltwater to a 500 ml beaker. 2. MATERIALS: Using your transfer pipet, add 4 drops of universal indicator. (Save your pipet for your next experiment!) 3. MATERIALS: Place a white sheet of paper under the beaker and record the initial color using the table on the data sheet. 4. MATERIALS: Stretch the piece of parafilm or saran wrap to completely cover the top of the beaker – then insert the straw by poking a hole through the parafilm. 5. RECORDER: Get the data sheet and prepare to record the color of the solution every 30 seconds, using the colors listed on the Universal Indicator Color Chart. 6. TIMER: Get timer ready to record for TWO MINUTES - Begin timing AT THE SAME TIME as breather begins blowing. BREATHER: Begin blowing through the straw into the water at exactly the same time as the timer begins timing. Breathe at a steady rate, exhaling only through straw. (Be careful to not inhale or suck on the straw!) 7. TIMER: Call out 30 second intervals. RECORDER: As the timer calls out each 30 second interval, record the color at that time using the same color descriptions as the Universal Indicator Color Chart. BREATHER: Exhale/blow at steady breathing rate for two full minutes. 8. RECORDER: Using the table on your data sheet and the Universal Indicator Color Chart, convert your color data to numbers, plot your data on the graph provided, and draw a line connecting the points to create a line graph. 9. GROUP: Decide on how you want to experiment by changing the variables. You will choose Protocol A, Protocol B, or Protocol C Data Table Graph : Data Analysis: 1. As you blew through the straw, what were you adding to the water and how did that change the pH? Carbon Dioxide was being added to the water. The pH of the water was affected as it started to become more acidic. 2. What did the universal indicator tell us about the water? The universal indicator told us the pH of the water. 3. What does this tell us about the effects of carbonic acid in ocean water? This tells us that when the carbonic acid is placed in the ocean water it slowly turns more acidic. 4. Based on the results of your experimental protocol, which factor affects the pH of the water most, temperature or salt? From what the data showed us, the temperature affected the pH of the water the most. Conclusion: My hypothesis was had supported data from the graph and data table shown. I stated that the more carbon dioxide put into the water/ beaker, the more acidic it would become. This proved my hypothesis to be correct and showed that the more carbon dioxide put into ocean water, the higher levels in pH value will rise due to our universal indicator. But even though this experimental trial was put to a small test, these changes are actually being made all around the globe. The only defect we have is not being able to realize how quickly these changes are affecting us all. Hopefully, we should all be able to see just how these changes we are making on the environment are affecting us all today. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Shell Protocol Hypothesis: If shells are put into vinegar instead of sea water, then their shells will start to dissolve much faster. The acidity level of vinegar is much stronger than sea water and adds more carbon dioxide to the shell, making them unable to produce their shells faster than they are deteriorating. Protocol: 1. MATERIALS: Remove your two untreated shells from their bags. 2. MATERIALS: With a sharpie, label one shell “E’ for experimental and one shell “C” for control. 3. RECORDER: Using your data table record your group’s initial observations of the control and experimental shell characteristics. 4. MATERIALS: Find the mass of each of the shells. 5. RECORDER: Record the starting masses of both shells on your data table. 6. MEASURING: Pour 150 ml of vinegar into a 500 ml beaker and 150 ml of salt water into a second 500ml beaker. 7. TIMER: Set the timer for 30 min. 8. MATERIALS: At the same time: Add the untreated, control shell “C” shell to salt water and the untreated, experimental shell “E” to the beaker of vinegar and start the timer. 9. RECORDER: In your data table, observe and record your group’s observations of what is happening to the shell while exposed to the vinegar over time. (at 0 minutes and 15 minutes) 10. ***EVERYONE: Between observations of your shell in acid (vinegar), spend time observing and recording observations of shell characteristics for the pretreated (“Low Exposure” and “High Exposure”) shells. 11.MATERIALS: After 30min use the tweezers to remove the shell from the vinegar and place on a paper towel. Dry the shell with a paper towel as best as you can. 12.MEASURING: Find the mass of both the control and the experimental shells. 13.RECORDER: Record the final masses and observations of the experimental and control shells after treatment. 14.EVERYONE: Decide how to test the strength of the shell. Options are: a. Test the shell strength by dropping the shell from a height of 5 feet from the ground and then record the damage or breakage on your data table b. Break the shell with textbooks to see how easily the shells break Data Table Graph Data Analysis: 1. When you immersed the shells in vinegar how did you know that a reaction was happening? I knew there was a chemical reaction occurring when bubbles started to emerge from the shell. I knew this effect was caused due to the reaction of carbon dioxide. 2. How did observing the shells in vinegar relate to how animals are affected by a lower pH of ocean water? In the lab, the vinegar represented ocean acidity and the shell represented them all in the entire ocean. We can see how this affects life in the ocean from a global point of view. 3. How would shelled organisms be affected by a lower pH of ocean water? The shells would dissolve at a increasing rate, making it harder for them to regenerate. 4. What are the primary functions of shell for these animals? The shell provides protection to the animal against predators, and serves as a home. 5. Does it cost the animal energy to rebuild or repair their shell? Recreating a new shell requires suing more molecules and energy to do so. Conclusion: The data shown above supported my hypothesis to be true. I had hypothesized that If the shells were put into vinegar instead of sea water, then their shells will start to dissolve much faster due to the acidity level of vinegar being much stronger than sea water and adds more carbon dioxide to the shell, making it unable to produce their shell faster than they are deteriorating. When the shell was placed in regular sea water, its final mass had no change, as to when the other shell was placed in vinegar; it started losing mass because of the chemical reaction with the carbon dioxide causing the shell to dissolve rapidly. This clearly shows from a global perspective how much these animals are being affected and just how much of a difference this could cause to throw the ecosystem out of balance.