Rising Acid Levels in Alaskan Seas

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by Gretchen Parsons

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A new report says the release of carbon dioxide into the air from factory smokestacks to the tailpipe on your car could pose a risk to red king crab and other lucrative fisheries in Alaska.

Ocean water becomes more acidic when it absorbs carbon dioxide released by human sources, such as the burning of fossil fuels.

The research, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was to be published Tuesday in the online journal Progress in Oceanography. It is aimed at spurring discussion on how to address the changes.

Researchers said changes in ocean chemistry could affect shellfish and other small creatures from building skeletons or shells in the early stages of development. Red king crab and tanner crab also grow more slowly in more acidic water.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press

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