Coral Reefs and Shellfish Battle Acidifying Oceans

Coral Reefs and Shellfish Battle Acidifying Oceans

BY: SASKIA DE MELKER, PBS

Slip beneath the water's surface and you'll find a world teeming with life. Schools of yellowtail fish dart through colorful coral reefs. Spiny lobsters emerge from the crevices of ocean rocks searching for a tasty meal. And sea anemones nestle in the nooks of oyster beds.

Scientists are learning more about how carbon dioxide is dramatically changing the makeup of the oceans and the communities that depend on them.

Thursday, December 6, 2012
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Marine Life on a Warming Planet

New York Times, Opinion Pages

Since the beginning of the industrial era, humans have pumped increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This has led not only to a warmer climate but also to significant changes in the chemistry of the oceans, which have long acted as a sink for carbon emissions but are being asked to absorb more than they can handle. The result is ocean acidification: increasingly corrosive seawater that has already ruined many coral reefs and over time could threaten the entire marine food chain.

Sunday, December 2, 2012
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Sea changes harming ocean now could someday undermine marine food chain

Sea changes harming ocean now could someday undermine marine food chain

BY: CRAIG WELCH, The Seattle Times

Scientists years ago figured out that a group of tiny snail-like sea creatures crucial to marine food webs may one day be an early victim of changing ocean chemistry. 

Researchers predicted that pteropods, shelled animals known as sea butterflies, could begin dissolving by 2038 as human-caused carbon-dioxide emissions begin souring the seas in a process known as ocean acidification.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Sea snails weaken as carbon dioxide makes Antarctic waters more acidic

Reuters, The Washington Post

The shells of some marine snails are dissolving as the seas around Antarctica become more acidic, threatening the food chain, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Oceans soak up about a quarter of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year; as CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase from the burning of fossil fuels, so do ocean levels, making seas more acidic. This acidification threatens coral reefs, marine ecosystems and wildlife.

Monday, November 26, 2012
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Oceans' rising acidity a threat to shellfish — and humans

Oceans' rising acidity a threat to shellfish — and humans

BY: KENNETH R. WEISS, Los Angeles Times

Peering into the microscope, Alan Barton thought the baby oysters looked normal, except for one thing: They were dead.

Slide after slide, the results were the same. The entire batch of 100 million larvae at the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery had perished.

Saturday, October 6, 2012
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