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Image : Ocean Acidification: A Risky Shell Game

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Ries and WHOI colleagues Anne Cohen and Dan McCorkle kept conchs (Strombus alatus) in seawater under different levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) to see how their shells were affected by the increased ocean acidity caused by elevated CO2. On the left, a conch from seawater under today's CO2 levels (400 parts per million, or ppm) has a normal shell, with normal bumpy protuberances. The conch on the right, reared under very high CO2 conditions (2,850 ppm), has a shell that has begun to deteriorate, its protuberances dissolved away in the more acidic seawater. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


Last updated: February 21, 2012

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