Vancouver Island researchers use artificial tide pools to study threat
The Pacific Ocean is growing more acidic at a much faster rate than anticipated, scientists say, putting everything from corals to mussels in jeopardy.
Researchers say carbon dioxide from the atmosphere forms carbonic acid in the ocean, changing the seawater enough that it can dissolve the shells of coral and shellfish.
The water off the west coast of Vancouver Island is changing at an unprecedented rate, meaning vulnerable life forms in the ocean’s food chain must adapt or die.
UBC PhD student Kathryn Anderson says sea urchins are one of the many species extremely sensitive to the changes now underway.
“It’ll hit the larval stage, it’ll hit the fertilization stage, it’ll hit the adult stage,” she said.