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The Pacific Northwest faces a higher risk of economic harm from ocean acidification than other parts of the country, according to a new study.
Pteropod populations have been declining in recent decades. That has some fisheries biologists concerned about impacts up the food chain.
As October rains upon us, a round up some of the big news and great reports from our team and from other outlets in September.
West Coast scientists are teaming up to better understand a phenomenon known as ocean acidification.
A new report says rescuing shellfish from the rising acidity in Puget Sound will require a wide-ranging response -- from curbing greenhouse gases to controlling water pollution.
Shellfish farming is a $270 million industry (pdf) that provides 3,200 jobs to the state of Washington, but ocean acidification may bring the whole business to a halt. Until a few years ago, no one knew very much about ocean acidification, but the corrosive waters of Puget Sound have provided an early indication of what effect the trend could have. Shellfish in the Sound are having problems getting larvae to grow, due to a 30 percent increase in ocean acidity since pre-industrial times. That means fewer and fewer new shellfish to harvest, and a potential end to the vital Northwest industry. Washington Governor Chris Gregoire sees the threat, and convened a panel to try to address the issue. Among the recommendations it came up with are:
- Limit water pollution from sewage and other sources that cause algae blooms that acidify the water.
- Deposit shell material in the Sound, which would make the water less acidic.
- Breed shellfish that are resistant to acidifying water.
Ocean Acidification; Pygmy Owls; Green Roofs
A new study predicts about 98 percent of the world's oceans will be affected by acidification, warming temperatures, low oxygen, or lack of biological productivity.