Citizen science shows that climate change is rapidly reshaping Long Island Sound

In the summer of 1973, Joe Hage was in the seventh grade. Together with his peers, he boarded the old Boston Whaler from Project Oceanology just as dawn began to shimmer from behind the trees of Bluff Point. He remembers how instructors led the crowd into knee-deep waters, the velvety green marsh, eel grass tickling their mud-stuck legs, the crabs and snails and fish that flailed around in a beach seine.

Another symptom of marine climate change is ocean acidification, measured as a slow pH decline in the ocean as the water swallows the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide from human emissions. In coastal waters, pollution with nutrients like nitrogen and phosphate can come from sewers, wastewater treatment plants and fertilizer runoff, making acidification even worse.

The Project Oceanology data revealed that pH declined much more rapidly in Long Island Sound than globally, which could imply worsening conditions for shellfish farmers.

Hannes Baumann, The Conversation, 1 April 2019. Article.

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