14:40 27 November 2012
A recent study has revealed that global warming makes the ocean more acidic as this phenomenon increases the levels of carbon dioxide in the water. The new research states that this dissolves some sea creatures’ shells, particularly tiny sea snails, which make them defenseless against predators.
Waters around Antarctica are becoming more acidic due to increasing levels of carbon dioxide. Experts state that this acidity will triple for the first time in 20million years. It is claimed that this will dramatically disrupt food chain cycle in the ocean.
Scientists have studied shells collected from Southern Ocean and revealed that the shells are dissolved across the entire length.
Geraint Tarling, of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, showed concern about the situation and said: “The tiny snails do not necessarily die as a result of their shells dissolving, however it may increase their vulnerability to predation and infection, consequently having an impact on other parts of the food web.”
Aside from the small snails, the study also suggests that other shells like clams, conchs, and whelks are also at increased risk. It claims that ocean acidification will affect the ability of these creatures to build their protective shells.
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