Marine ecosystems are in for some sour changes as the oceans turn more acidic. Increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon are lowering pH levels, as the oceans dissolve ever more CO2. Many researchers, like Kristy Kroeker of Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, seek to predict what acidification will mean for ecosystems.
Kroeker studies communities of organisms growing near underwater vents that bubble CO2 off the coast of Italy. The process is much like carbonating a soda, and it spells trouble for hard-shelled marine animals.
The North Bay will see the effects of acidification too. Tessa Hill of the Bodega Marine Lab discusses the questions researchers are investigating locally.
Tomorrow we'll visit an oyster farm in Tomales Bay to learn how they are coping with the current effects and preparing for the future.
Images courtesy of Kristy Kroeker.