The process whereby atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater producing carbonic acid, which subsequently lowers pH of surrounding seawater; widely thought to be happening on a global scale.
Other processes also contribute to acidification, especially in eutrophic coastal waters: decomposition of organic material, nitrification in surface water (promoted by sewage discharge) and oxidation processes in sediments.
An extensive article on ocean acidification can be found in the Wikipedia: Ocean acidification.
Review on the impacts of ocean stratification by Kroeker et al. (2014).
- Wallace, R.B. and Gobler, C.J. 2021. The role of algal blooms and community respiration in controlling the temporal and spatial dynamics of hypoxia and acidification in eutrophic estuaries. Marine Pollution Bulletin 172, 12908
- Kroeker, K.J., Kordas, R.L., Crim, R., Hendriks, I.E., Ramajos, L., Singh, G,S, Duartes, C.M. and Gattusa, J-P. 2014. Impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms: quantifying sensitivities and interaction with warming. Global Change Biology 19: 1884–1896, doi: 10.1111/gcb.12179. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/gcb.12179