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Acid Ocean Roundup

November 13, 2009

Shellfish are at risk of losing their shells due to climate change.


Could climate change de-shell shellfish? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere raises the acidity of ocean water. Stony Brook University scientists report that this acidity inhibits the development of clams, scallops and other shellfish. That’s because the acid keeps their shells from forming properly. The team found that at acid levels predicted for this century, half of all young shellfish die and the rest grow significantly more slowly.

In other climate change news, a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that Americans can make significant cuts in carbon emissions by doing a better job at conserving. Simply weatherizing homes, keeping cars well maintained, and drying clothes on clotheslines more often could cut emissions by over seven percent—that’s equal to the total output of France. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.