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Melting sea ice dilutes water, endangers sea life

Source:  Copyright 2009, Reuters
Date:  November 19, 2009
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Melting of the Arctic sea ice due to global warming is diluting surface waters and this is endangering some species of shellfish which need minerals in the water to form their shells and skeletons, scientists have found.

In a paper published in Science, they warned that this has serious implications for ecosystems in the Arctic.

"Organisms that are likely to be affected are from the family of pteropods, also mussels and clams on the sea floor," said Fiona McLaughlin, research scientist at Canada's Institute of Ocean Sciences's department of fisheries and oceans.

Pteropods are minute swimming sea snails.

"It puts the food chain at risk. These organisms are a food source for fish that are a food source for seals and bears. The food chain in the Arctic is quite a short one, so it's quite vulnerable," she told Reuters by telephone.

Meltwater from sea ice pours into the Canada Basin and researchers in Canada have been ...

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