Animals Are Literally Being Dissolved Alive Because Of Acid In The Ocean

The next time you're having a bit of a bad day, consider this: in a part of the Southern Ocean, sea snails are literally dissolving day by day, thanks to the increasingly high amounts of man-made acidification. Being a little late to that meeting beats being dissolved alive, eh?

Geraint Tarling of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge and some of his colleagues capture some sea snails from the Southern Ocean back in 2008, and after studying them carefully, they can now say that similar snails are losing their shells to acid at this very moment. As Tarling put it, "This is actually happening now."

This acidification is the result of CO2 air pollution working its way into the water where it forms carbonic acid, which eats away at the calcium shells of sea snails and other mollusks. This is the first solid evidence that mollusks are being adversely affected by acidification, which has been happening faster than any time in the past 300 million years. Solutions to the problem include frantically dumping large quantities of limestone in the ocean, or laying off a little on CO2 emissions.

The latter is probably the most practically, but if we don't get to it soon, it might be limestone time before you know it. [New Scientist]


Comments

    "it might be limestone time before you know it."

    I get the feeling you're trying to make a joke, but... no?

      "... Thus solving the problem once and for all!"

      "But-"

      "ONCE AND FOR ALL! "

    I guess one patch would be to make a lots of shells of different sizes made from something that doesn't dissolve and to drop them on the sea floor near the clusters of animals that use them. sort of like a crab that moves from one shell to another as it grows.... now I think the snails actually make the shell via secretion so I'm not sure they would adopt the shells.

    Now, now. Climate change hasn't been proven definitively... /sarcasm

    does anyone else see the human fetus on the left side of the image?

    I’m just not convinced that a slight shift (-0.11) to the ocean pH being more neutral than basic is the cause of this. The oceans are still basic at ~8.069, not acidic. To be acidic they’d have to be less than 7.0.
    But it is a great way to try to get hold of some climate change funding.

      Luckily people far far more intelligent than you having been using more than just their uninformed hunches to investigate http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/03/ocean-acidification-could-become-worst-in-at-least-300-million-years/

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