Ocean acidification due to excessive release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is threatening to produce large-scale changes to the marine ecosystem affecting all levels of the food chain, a University of B.C. marine biologist warned Friday.
Chris Harley, associate professor in the department of zoology, warned that ocean acidification also carries serious financial implications by making it more difficult for species such as oysters, clams, and sea urchins to build shells and skeletons from calcium carbonate. Acidic water is expected to result in thinner, slower-growing shells, and reduced abundance. Larvae can be especially vulnerable to acidity.