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March 25, 2016

Changing ocean chemistry may threaten Antarctic food chain

National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have collected the first long-term evidence that links rising levels of carbon and changes in ocean chemistry in Antarctic waters to the inability of tiny animals, such as sea snails, to build the protective shells they need to survive. As oceans absorb carbon-dioxide from the air, it makes the water more acidic, decreasing what scientists call the pH. Lead researcher Gretchen Hofmann and her team have been deploying automated ocean sensors around McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, since 2010 giving them the longest continuous dataset on ocean pH in the region.

original air date: March 24, 2016

Credit: Image: NSF; Video: NSF and University of California, Santa Barbara

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