Pollock show boost of bicarbonate in blood

No matter what you believe about climate change, ocean chemistry doesn’t lie. Even toy store chemistry tests will show that the seas are becoming more acidic, and the off-kilter levels can have a scary impact on sea creatures: it dissolves them.

The oceans absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, produced mostly by tailpipes and coal and oil-fired power plants. The CO2 increases acidity (pH) in the ocean which robs it of calcium carbonate, the building block of sea creatures’ skeletons and shells. Scientists estimate the ocean is 25 percent more acidic now than it was 300 years ago.

Corals, oysters and clams in the wild already show corrosion from the rising acid levels, and tests on king crab have been under way in Kodiak labs for several years. At a seminar last week, reports of potential impacts on pollock, Alaska’s largest fish resource, raised eyebrows and more questions.

Laine Welch, The Bristol Bay Times, 9 June 2010. Full article.

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