Ocean’s Acidity Threatens Fish Survival

May 27, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. instinct /ˈɪnhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngstɪŋkt/ (n.) – the natural response of a person or animal to something
Example: Barking at strangers is a natural dog instinct.

2. carry out  /ˈkærhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngiˌaʊt/ (v.) – to do or accomplish something
Example: The researchers carried out a study about global warming.

3. off the coast /ɔf ðə koʊst/  (adv.) – away from the land
Example: The ship sank off the coast of Okinawa.

4. predator /ˈprɛdhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngəhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngtər/ (n.) – an animal that kills other animals for food
Example: Sharks are one of the common predators in the ocean.

5. emit /ɪˈmɪt/ (v.) – to send out or release
Example: Most vehicles emit carbon dioxide.


Read the text below.
Ocean acidification threatens marine life because of climate change, study says.

A new research conducted by scientists from James Cook University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and National Geographic Society suggests that fish are losing their survival instinct because of too much acid in the bodies of water.

The study was carried out on fish living in the coral reefs off the coast of Papua New Guinea where the waters are naturally acidic. Experts say that the behavior of animals in that area became evidently riskier.

Professor Philip Munday, the study’s lead author, pointed out some odd fish behavior. He noticed that most fish became attracted to the smell of their predators. He also noted that the marine animals swim away from their shelter and are more active. These behaviors make them an easy target of predators.

According to Munday, the fish didn’t seem to adapt to the increased level of carbon dioxide in the water.

Despite the effect of carbon dioxide in fish behavior, the fish’s athletic performance does not seem affected, co-author Jodie Rummer said. Fish from acidic areas also has the same metabolic rates as of that in the nearby healthy reefs. With this finding, researchers assume that carbon dioxide will most likely affect the behavior of the fish more than other aspects of their performance.

Ocean acidification is caused by carbon dioxide emitted to the Earth’s atmosphere. As carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean, it becomes acid. Too much acidity harms the ecosystem of marine life. Scientists predict that acidification may become ocean-wide by the end of the century if the situation worsens.   

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think ocean acidification will worsen in the future? Why or why not?
·         What do you think will happen if ocean acidification happens worldwide?

Discussion B

·         Would you say that oceans in your country are still healthy for marine life? Why or why not?
·         What are the initiatives done to protect the oceans in your country?


May 27, 2014