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With Growing Ocean Acidity, Scientists Call For More Monitoring

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, September 17, 2012

California oyster and mussel farmers have seen seen great losses in recent years.  The ocean's acidity eats away at the shells as the young shellfish begin to grow their first layer. 

Scientists say climate change is accelerating the ocean's acidity, but say they need more specific data. Jan Newton is with the University of Washington.  She says acidity varies greatly at different depths  -- and even from bay to bay.  

NEWTON: "So our challenge is quite large because we need to be able to get a better sense of what's going on in the environment on these various scales from regional to global. And right now we've got a drop in the bucket of the observations it would take to do that." 

Newton says there are some buoys off the west coast that monitor acidity, but more are needed.  She says better regional and global communication would help scientists understand what's happening.

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