The mixture of warming waters and ocean acidification is proving a lethal combination for many sea creatures who are dissolving in the hostile conditions, according to a new study.
The study, from the University of California, found that marine animals are dissolving in Pacific waters off the Northern California coast.
“We thought there would be some thinning or reduced mass,” said lead author Dan Swezey of the study, which saw ocean conditions recreated in a lab with cloned tiny invertebrates, known as bryozoans. “But whole features just dissolved practically before our eyes.”
The bryozoans were exposed to various combinations of dissolved carbon dioxide, warmer temperatures and food concentrations – with large numbers of their skeletons disappearing in as few as two months.
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