Low oyster numbers linked to atmospheric carbon dioxide

By on April 12, 2012

A groundbreaking study on oyster die-offs near the Pacific coastline clearly links high atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to reduced oyster numbers starting in 2006. When oceans absorb carbon dioxide, it makes the waters more acidic and reduces the amount of calcium carbonate in the water. Oysters use calcium carbonate to build their shells and skeletons. Researchers recorded data from Whiskey Creek Hatchery in Oregon where it saw oyster numbers drop by 80 percent in the past few years.

The Environmental Protection Agency has said that states should research ocean acidification. Reduced oyster numbers could indicate trouble for other oceanic species as well.

Read more at New York Times Green.

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