Podcast: “For oysters, challenges and hope in the changing ocean” (audio)

Ocean acidification occurs in lockstep with climate change, as the seas suck up increasing levels of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it to carbonic acid.

The fallout from this pH drop affects the oyster industry (among others). More acidic oceans hinder oyster larvae and other shellfish from forming their calcium-based shells, and they can end up stunted—or dead—before they reach adulthood. Between 2005 and 2009, larvae production in oyster hatcheries along the West Coast dropped by as much as 80 percent.

Tessa Hill, an associate professor of earth and planetary sciences at UC-Davis’ Bodega Marine Lab, is working with farmers to find solutions for oysters and farmers alike and joins Ira to discuss her efforts in a live interview from the Mondavi Center at the University of California, Davis. From new hatcheries that can nourish oyster larvae in ideal water conditions, to the potential of seagrasses to pull carbon dioxide out of the water, she talks about what hope the future holds for oyster farmers and consumers.

Science Friday, 30 September 2016. Audio.

1 Response to “Podcast: “For oysters, challenges and hope in the changing ocean” (audio)”


  1. 1 Jean-Pierre Gattuso 3 October 2016 at 15:54

    It is unfortunate that the terminology used in the title and content of this podcast is misleading. The definition of “acidic” in the Oxford English dictionary is “having the properties of an acid; having a pH of less than 7″. Despite the process of ocean acidification, the oceans are alkaline (pH higher than 7) and will not become acidic in the foreseeable future. Hence, the “acid” or “acidic” should not be used when referring to seawater. Note that there are few exceptions, seawater can be acidic in the immediate vicinity of CO2 vents or in purposeful perturbation experiments.


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