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Human Carbon Emissions Make Oceans Corrosive - Study

Source:  Copyright 2008, Reuters
Date:  May 23, 2008
Byline:  Deborah Zabarenko
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Carbon dioxide spewed by human activities has made ocean water so acidic that it is eating away at the shells and skeletons of starfish, coral, clams and other sea creatures, scientists said on Thursday.

Marine researchers knew that ocean acidification, as it's called, was occurring in deep water far from land. What they called "truly astonishing" was the appearance of this damaging phenomenon on the Pacific North American continental shelf, stretching from Mexico to Canada.

"This means that ocean acidification may be seriously impacting our marine life on our continental shelf right now, today," said Richard Feely of the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, part of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Other continental shelf regions around the world are likely to face the same fate, he said.

Plenty of natural activities, including human breath, send the ...

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