Compensation for metabolic alkalosis occurs mainly in the lungs, which retain carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) through slower breathing, or hypoventilation ( respiratory compensation ). CO 2 is then consumed toward the formation of the carbonic acid intermediate, thus decreasing pH. Respiratory compensation, though, is incomplete. The decrease in [H+] suppresses the peripheral chemoreceptors, which are sensitive to pH. But, because respiration slows, there's an increase in pCO 2 which would cause an offset of the depression because of the action of the central chemoreceptors which are sensitive to the partial pressure of CO 2 [ citation needed ] in the cerebral spinal fluid. So, because of the central chemoreceptors, respiration rate would be increased.