It’s Acidifying! Life in a high CO2 world

For tens of millions of years, Earth’s oceans have maintained a relatively stable acidity level. It’s within this steady environment that the rich and diverse web of life in today’s oceans has arisen and flourished. But research shows that this intricate balance is being undone by a drop in surface pH.

In this two part lesson, students will explore the sources and effects of increasing levels of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) on the marine environment through a series of hands-on activities and experiments. Students will learn how carbon dioxide is transferred between the atmosphere and the ocean, and how this increase in carbon dioxide in the ocean leads to changes in water chemistry, with significant consequences for marine habitats and organisms. In addition, students will investigate their personal contribution to the ‘CO2 problem, and explore ways to reduce their impact as an individual and as a society.

Learning Stages: Stage 3, Stage 4

Structure of workshop:

This program consists of two 45 minute workshops facilitated by SIMS education staff, with some in-class preparation required.

For more information on this workshop, please contact SIMS Education at