Ocean acidification has been linked to the disturbance of food webs and changing species distributions. Together with other biogeochemical changes, increasing ocean acidification may compromise the health of marine ecosystems as well as negatively impact many ocean goods and services and the communities that rely on them.
Key changes to ocean systems include acidification, rising sea levels, and strengthening storms. Impacts to ocean habitats are detailed in the discussion of coral bleaching and reef degradation in the species and habitats section.
The warmer air and ocean surface temperatures brought on by climate change impact corals and alter coral reef communities by prompting coral bleaching events and altering ocean chemistry. These impacts affect corals and the many organisms that use coral reefs as habitat. Reef degradation also reduces the ability of these systems to respond to change and mitigate storm surge events – a valuable ecosystem service.
The U.S. Geological Survey Climate Project Portal is an interactive viewer that shows maps based on future projections of temperature and precipitation from a group of “statistically downscaled” global climate models.