"Oceans' Rising Acidity a Threat To Shellfish -- and Humans"

"As carbon dioxide continues to build up in the atmosphere as a result of burning fossil fuels, the seas absorb much of it.The full effects have yet to be felt."

"Peering into the microscope, Alan Barton thought the baby oysters looked normal, except for one thing: They were dead.

Slide after slide, the results were the same. The entire batch of 100 million larvae at the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery had perished.

It took several years for the Oregon oyster breeder and a team of scientists to find the culprit: a radical change in ocean acidity.

The acid levels rose so high that the larvae could not form their protective shells, according to a study published this year. The free-swimming baby oysters would struggle for days, then fall exhausted to the floor of the tank."

Kenneth R. Weiss reports for the Los Angeles Times October 6, 2012.
 

Source: LA Times, 10/08/2012