Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ocean Acidification; Mini test in class

In my oceanography lab class on Friday, we got to do a mini acid test.

Our question was: Will the pH of the water become more acidic or more basic?

My hypothesis was: I think the pH will change and become more acidic.

The experiment went as follows:

1. Measure out 50ml of water in a graduated cylinder. Then pour into a beaker.

2. Add 5 drops of Phenol Red (a dye) and carefully swirl to mix.

3. Measure and record the pH

My groups first measurement was 8.5 pH. Which is slightly basic (about as basic/alkaline as seawater)

4. Blow with a straw into the water for 3 seconds and record the pH.

5. Repeat this step 4, 5 times.

(1) 8.3 pH
(2) 8.2 pH
(3) 8.1 pH
(4) 8.1 pH
(5) 7.8 pH

5. Blow for 10 seconds

My groups answer was 7.5 pH

We even took it a step further and blew into the water for an extra total of 60 seconds. The pH of the water became 6.8 pH, which is about as acidic as urine. Which isn't THAT bad considering that coffee and tomatoes are more acidic than urine.

In conclusion the water DID become more acidic!

Now, this experiment was just a little lab class procedure, but can you imagine how bad our oceans must be considering all the junk that gets washed away into it?
Think about it.

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