"Ocean Acidification Could Be Creating Friendless Fish"

"Fish seem like chummy enough creatures, often schooling with fish they're familiar with to avoid predators and increase the chances of finding a mate. But as carbon dioxide levels rise worldwide, they could lose their ability to recognize each other, in effect becoming "friendless" wanderers who will hang out with just about anybody.

That's the short version of new research on climate change and fish behavior out of James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. A team led by Lauren Nadler wanted to know how fish will react to ocean acidification caused by more and more human-generated CO2 in the atmosphere. So they created two experimental setups, one with regular ocean water and the other enriched with CO2, and into them dumped a bunch of tropical damselfish. Here's what those guys look like out on the reef:"

John Metcalfe reports for CityLab July 1, 2014.

Friday, July 4, 2014