Jun 25, 2009 | 3
Just when you thought you’d heard it all about the effects of greenhouse gases, researchers have found that higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels could lead to changes in fish anatomy involved in navigation.
A study of white sea bass eggs and larvae showed that the developing fish grew larger ear bones (otoliths, which don't field sound, but rather help fish sense speed and direction) under higher CO2 concentrations. The results appear in the latest issue of Science.
The researchers raised the fish at different CO2 saturations and then examined their otoliths under scanning electron microscopes. The find may spell trouble for fish down the road. It also highlights the unpredictable nature of biological changes in CO2-rich waters, as they had expected the ear bones to shrink rather than grow.
Nov 24, 2008 | 34
Increased carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is making the Pacific coast acidic far more rapidly than previously believed, potentially wreaking havoc for creatures living in it that are unable to tolerate the swiftly changing environment.
Ecologists at the University of Chicago tracked the acidity of the Pacific off an island close to Washington state over the course of eight years. Their results, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: the waters here are becoming acidic 10 times more quickly than had been predicted using other models. Their data also shows that populations of mussels—key animals in that ecosystem—are declining rapidly as the ocean becomes less alkaline.
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