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Increased acidity of oceans puts mussel population in danger

Increased acidity of oceans puts mussel population in danger

HONG KONG: Scientists have documented that the ocean is growing more acidic faster than previously thought. The world’s mussels are under danger because of climate change and increased acidity of the oceans.
According to a study from Glasgow University, the world’s oceans are becoming more acidic because they absorb some of the atmospheric carbon dioxide that contributes to climate change.

Rising acidity reduces the number of bicarbonate ions in the sea, which are vital for the creation of mussels’ two-layer shells, which could make them more vulnerable to attack from predators.
Dr Susan Fitzer said that they worked with colleagues in their School of Engineering to examine the toughness of the shells in the more acidic water against those in control conditions and the calcite outer shells of the mussels past a certain threshold of acidity was stiffer and harder, making it more brittle and prone to fracture under pressure and the aragonite inner shell became softer.