Growing sea acid may start dissolving shells of crabs, snails, other animals in 15 years

noaaParts of the Arctic Ocean are becoming so acidic that crabs and other shelled life may no longer be able to live in them by the end of the next decade and a half, with part of the Pacific Ocean following. This finding, reported in the journal Oceanography, isn’t alarming only to environmentalists who care about sea life: such an ecological disaster
would also be an economic catastrophe for the United States, because the health of these waters and of the animals we harvest from them is crucial to our fishing industry. Almost 60% of the US fishing harvest comes from Alaska.

Scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of Alaska, and the Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution made this calculation after studying the acid build-up during research expeditions aboard the United States Coast Guard cutter Healy. They studied two regions of the Arctic Ocean, the Chukchi Sea between Alaska and Russia, and the Beaufort Sea, to the west of Canada’s Arctic Islands. The scientific team, led by Dr Jeremy Mathis and Dr Jessica Cross, concluded that the same fate seemed to be in store for the Bering Sea — part of the Pacific — by 2044.

Read more at the NOAA.