Postdoctoral researcher Justin Ries
holds a temperate-water coral—one of many shell-forming marine
animals he grew under elevated carbon dioxide levels, which increases the seawater's
acidity. Working with Anne Cohen and Dan McCorkle of the Geology and Geophysics Department, he conducted the experiment to measure the effects of high-CO2 levels on living shelled marine animals. Many coral species may be vulnerable to increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, because more-acidic seawater can make it difficult for them to construct their calcium carbonate skeletons.
(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)