ScienceDaily (Apr. 23, 2010) — New research shows that global warming and its effects -- in particular, ocean acidification -- have descended upon shellfish reefs, particularly those formed by the Olympia oyster.
More than one-third of the world's human-caused carbon dioxide emissions have entered the oceans, according to Brian Gaylord, a biological oceanographer at the Bodega Marine Laboratory of the University of California at Davis.
"Similar to what happens in carbonated soda," says Gaylord, "increasing carbon dioxide in seawater makes it more acidic."
Even with small changes in acidity, seawater becomes corrosive to the shells of aquatic organisms.