Melting glaciers and crumbling ice sheets are contributing to sea-level rise across the globe, says Oregon State geologist Peter Clark.
West coast waters are likely to see continued impacts from acidification, warming temperatures and low-oxygen conditions. That’s the conclusion of a report in the journal BioScience co-authored by Francis Chan in the Oregon State College of Science.
The Pacific Northwest, famous for its delectable fried oysters and succulent steamed clams, is one of several coastal “hot spots” where shellfish are subject to “acidification” — seawater whose chemistry is becoming corrosive because of greenhouse gases.
George Waldbusser, a biogeochemist in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, and Elizabeth Brunner, a master’s student, conducted an experiment with oyster larvae, which are about the width of a human hair.
Whether or not you’re a fan of gulping down raw oysters doused with Tabasco, recent declines in the succulent Northwest shellfish are cause for alarm. That’s because the chemical changes in seawater that are harming oysters could have far-reaching effects on other ocean species as well.