Marine science researchers release study suggesting ocean acidification may directly harm fish

Fossil fuel combustion, and with it the release of heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2), is still growing globally.1 Beyond climate change, this is also causing the world’s “other CO2 problem,” ocean acidification, i.e., the formation of carbonic acid when CO2 from the atmosphere enters seawater. Studies have already demonstrated a multitude of negative effects of elevated CO2 conditions for many groups of marine organisms such as corals, plankton, shellfish and sea urchins. To date, scientists have assumed marine fish were immune to ocean acidification.

However, in a new article published in the December 11, 2011, online edition of the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers from Stony Brook University (NY, USA) demonstrate that “the fish are okay” belief ignores an important knowledge gap – the possible effects of CO2 during the early development of fish eggs and larvae. Co-authors of the study, Christopher Gobler and Hannes Baumann, are professors at the Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (SoMAS) and represent one of several international teams working on closing this gap.

Stony Brook University,, 8 December 2011. Full article.

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