With Climate Change, No Happy ClamsTweet
Media Source: NPR
Program Name: Science Friday
Show Name: With Climate Change, No Happy Clams
Broadcast Year: 2013
Original Link: http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/06/14/2013/with-climate-change-no-happy-clams.html
Carbon emissions are slowly acidifying ocean waters, forcing marine life to adapt. Oysters and other shellfish, for example, may have a harder time building their shells, according to NOAA's Richard Feely. At Quilcene, Washington's Taylor Shellfish Hatchery, research director Benoit Eudeline says he's already seeing those effects. Studying the distribution of carbon throughout the world's ocean Feely and his team have measured a ph increase of 16% acidity the past 15 years. The shellfish industry has experienced an average of 60% crop failure since 2009. These marine lifeforms are unable to build their shells and essential components based off of calcium carbonate, as the acid is deteriorating this process. The impacts of this will range from decreased access for human consumption and consumer price increases all the way through aquatic food chain implications. If CO2 concentrations were cut today, there would still be 500 years till that drawn down would be realized in the oceans at a pre-industrial level.